Warrington Guardian Column – Prorogation

Next week, the Conservative Prime Minister has announced that Parliament will be shut down for five weeks. This would constitute the longest suspension of the British legislature since 1945. Most importantly, it comes at a time when the role of parliament could not be more critical in safeguarding British jobs and livelihoods.

By suspending Parliament, the Prime Minister has shown utter contempt for our democratic system and the core principles upon which it rests. He is seeking to silence the voices of the British public and shamelessly force through a disastrous No Deal Brexit.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement, thousands of people from across the country have spontaneously taken to the streets to protest against his efforts to undermine our democracy.

Whatever our views on Brexit, it is simply undemocratic for a minority Government to shut-down Parliament to prevent legislation being passed by elected members to protect Britain from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

The consequences of a No Deal would be hugely damaging – impacting many of our local businesses reliant on European supply chains. Food prices would rise dramatically, hitting families struggling to get by the hardest. Leaving the EU in this way would plunge the country into chaos. It cannot be allowed to happen.

I have always believed that Parliament must be fully involved in the Brexit process – from triggering Article 50, having a meaningful vote on the final deal and shaping our future relationship with the EU. If Parliament is suspended, MPs will not be able to effectively scrutinise the Government’s plans at the most critical moment of this process.

Make no mistake: this is the Government’s intention. Suspending Parliament until the Queen’s Speech is delivered on 14 October will stop Parliament from passing legislation to stop a disastrous No Deal. It is an affront to our parliamentary sovereignty – a principle which was meant to be the cornerstone of Britain ‘taking back control’.

I want to reiterate my opposition to a No Deal Brexit. Businesses, trade unions and even the Government’s own analysts have been clear about the disruption No Deal would result in and the damage it would do to our economy. There is no mandate for this, and Parliament has expressed its opposition to No Deal on several occasions. I will do whatever is necessary to stop a No Deal from happening.

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