There has been a lot of media noise regarding the prorogation of Parliament.
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** The Prorogation of Parliament
There has been a lot of media noise regarding the prorogation of Parliament, so I thought I would share my views and set the record straight a bit.
Firstly, I want to stress that I remain committed to getting a deal and am confident that an agreement will be reached with the EU. This is exactly what the Prime Minister is trying to achieve and he should be given the chance to do so.
The news about prorogation does not prevent us leaving with a deal in October as has been speculated on social media and elsewhere. As I said before - I want to leave with a deal and am confident that an agreement will be reached with the EU. This would mean the Queen’s Speech will contain a bill to make it law - the votes on the Queen’s Speech will then fall after the EU Council (on 17/18 October) when MPs are best placed to judge the Government’s whole programme.
This has already been the longest session of Parliament in the post-Civil War era at 340 days. Normally, when a new Prime Minister takes over there is a new Queen's Speech (including prorogation) - this is indeed standard and constitutional. The Prime Minister understandably wants to set out our bold and ambitious legislative agenda which will deliver for you, from tackling crime to investing in our schools - these are the things you have asked me to do.
In fact, for some time constituents have written to me to request that Brexit does not take over the legislative agenda as you want to see the Government taking more action on other policy areas as well. I have been conveying these views to both the previous and the new Prime Minister, so it is good news that we are not waiting until November to start making these changes and we are instead moving ahead with a fresh agenda before then.
It has also been reported that the announcement means that MPs will have less time to prevent a ‘no deal’ Brexit. This again is misleading as the only method to avoid leaving without a deal is for MPs to support a deal, which they will still have the opportunity to do.
Parliament will have ample opportunity to debate this issue and so this is absolutely not a case of MPs being shut out of Parliament. This is not a tactic to slip into no-deal. Parliament returned to sit this week, after which we were due to go into party conference recess. This means Parliament will return in October only four days later than planned.
Prorogation is certainly not an assault on the constitution. I would argue that we have actually seen an assault on the constitution and our democracy by some in Parliament who have torn up centuries-old conventions on how Parliament works and used every trick in the book to try to block Brexit - a vote taken democratically by the people.
We have been debating Brexit for over three years and we still have weeks available before we leave the EU at the end of October to scrutinise proposals. As I have stressed this is not a plan to curtail democracy.
I remain committed to delivering Brexit and leaving with a deal. I believe that we must restore trust and faith in democracy by honouring the result of the referendum.
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