UNITED KINGDOM: Thousands of people demonstrated Wednesday night against Brexit after the announcement of Boris Johnson’s controversial decision of the suspension of Parliament
Boris Johnson is playing a game of poker. The British Prime Minister has decided Wednesday to suspend Parliament for five weeks until October 14, just two weeks before the date of Brexit. The announcement provoked the fury of many elected officials and protesters, and a petition denouncing this manoeuvre – seen as an attempt to quell the protests of Parliament – collected a million signatures in a few hours. The pound fell 0.6% against the euro and the dollar after this news which reinforced the hypothesis of a “no-deal”, raising fears of shortages and the restoration of customs duties.
Thousands of people demonstrated in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and other major cities on Wednesday night. Several hundred people gathered in front of the Parliament chanting “Stop the coup” and brandishing the European flag, then Downing Street, where the Prime Minister is installed, noted an AFP journalist.
“Threat to our democracy”
Although the UK Parliament is usually suspended in September because of annual party congresses, the extension of this suspension until October 14th has been described by the Speaker of the Lower House, John Bercow, as a “constitutional scandal”. “It’s a scandal and a threat to our democracy,” said Jeremy Corbyn, chief of Labor, the main opposition party. Corbyn wrote to the Queen asking for an interview, according to a source in Labor. He hopes to get the support of MPs to file a no-confidence motion against the government but will have to do it before the suspension.
“It’s going to be very complicated for Jeremy Corbyn (…) to get a vote of no confidence (…) especially since Boris is exactly what the United Kingdom was looking for,” said the US President Donald on Twitter. Trump, who has repeatedly sparked an ambitious free trade agreement with the UK after Brexit. “I think what the US president means is that Boris Johnson is exactly what he was looking for, a docile Prime Minister who will put British public services back into the hands of American companies,” Jeremy Corbyn retorted on Twitter.
The actor Hugh Grant, reacted via a tweet as flowery as untranslatable: “You will not destroy the freedoms for which my grandfather fought in two world wars. F*ck you, incompetent bath duck. You and your little band of wicked bosses, you revolt Britain. ”
You will not fuck with my children’s future. You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. Fuck off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects. https://t.co/Oc0xwLI6dI
— Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) 28 August 2019
Agitation at the tories
In the conservative moderate ranks, the suspension has also been denounced. Former Finance Minister Philip Hammond, opposed to a “no-deal”, called it a “constitutional scandal”. And according to several media, the popular leader of the Scottish Conservative party, Ruth Davidson, is expected to resign Thursday. With her charismatic personality, the forty-year-old had managed to revive the Conservative Party in Scotland, whose prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, accused Boris Johnson of behaving like a “junk dictator.”
He defended himself by saying on the Sky News channel that the timetable will “leave plenty of time for MEPs to debate the EU and Brexit”. Legal claims have already been announced by more than 70 Scottish parliamentarians in the highest civil instance in Scotland on the one hand and Gina Miller, a businesswoman and anti-Brexit activist, on the other. English justice.
For Maddy Thimont Jack, an analyst at the think-tank Institute for Government, if this suspension is not “unusual”, it is “timing” that poses a problem, limiting the ability of members to block a “no-deal”. “But there is still time for members to introduce legislation next week and pass it before the suspension. ”
Show a united front to the EU
Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II, who agreed, to suspend Parliament after the debates from 9 September until 14 October. The session will resume with the traditional speech of the Queen, in which she exposes the program of the government. “The weeks leading up to the European Council (17 and 18 October) are vital for my negotiations with the EU,” he said, adding: “By showing unity and determination, we have a chance to win a new agreement that can be adopted by Parliament. ”
The date of return was chosen on 14 October for the Parliament to sit before the European Council and, in case of a new agreement with the EU, to adopt the law necessary for its ratification by 31 October, the date on which the UK must leave the EU, according to a government statement.
MEPs have already rejected the EU’s exit agreement with the former Theresa May government three times. But they failed to agree on the form to be taken Brexit, voted in June 2016 by 52% of the British.
London and the EU are particularly opposed to the fate of the future Irish border, which will separate the United Kingdom from the European single market. On Wednesday, the chief negotiator of the European Commission, Michel Barnier, said he was “always ready to study” the British proposals.