In Brexit quagmire, UK parliament session hits longest in over 350 years

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Theresa May listens to Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the Parliament in London, Britain March 25, 2019, in this still image taken from video. Reuters TV/via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Deadlocked over navigating Britain’s exit from the European Union, the country’s parliament session is now the longest since the English Civil War of 1642-51, the House of Commons library said on Monday.

Parliamentary sessions usually last a year, from spring to spring, but after a June 2017 election the government announced it would hold a rare two-year legislative session in order to tackle the complexities of Brexit.

But with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal having been rejected three times by parliament and lawmakers now at an impasse over the way forward, there is no sign the government plans to bring the current session to an end.

The House of Commons library said the parliamentary session became the longest in more than 350 years on May 7, and on Tuesday will have lasted for 300 sitting days. That makes it the second longest parliamentary session ever.

“The prime minister and the government decided on an extended session in order to pass the legislation to deliver Brexit and that work remains vital and obviously ongoing,” May’s spokesman said.

Parliament has some way to go to overtake the longest ever session, however. Known as “the Long Parliament”, it lasted from November 1640 to April 1653, sitting for a total of 3,322 days.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Ed Osmond