August 28, 2019 / 9:44 AM / 21 days ago

Instant View: UK's Johnson plan to restrict parliamentary time before Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Boris Johnson will limit lawmakers’ opportunities to derail his plans for Brexit by restricting the amount of time they are due to sit in parliament before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves a news conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Here are some early reactions to the move:

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT

“However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country. At this time, one of the most challenging periods in our nation’s history, it is vital that our elected parliament has its say.”

DOMINIC GRIEVE, PRO-EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER

“I think (a no-confidence vote) is more likely, because if it is impossible to prevent prorogation, then I think it’s going to be very difficult for people like myself to keep confidence in the government, and I could well see why the leader of the opposition might wish to table a motion for a vote of no-confidence.”

JAMES CLEVERLY, CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING CONSERVATIVE PARTY

“Or to put it another way: government to hold a Queen’s Speech, just as all new governments do.”

SIMON CLARKE, A JUNIOR FINANCE MINISTER

“In 400 years we haven’t had a session of Parliament that’s lasted as long as this. We need a Queen’s Speech to set out a bold agenda for after we leave the EU - on policing, infrastructure and the NHS.”

DIANE ABBOTT, MAIN OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY HOME AFFAIRS SPOKESWOMAN

“Boris Johnson is aiming for a coup against parliament. Against you the voters and your political representatives. For a disastrous No Deal.”

PHILIP HAMMOND, FORMER FINANCE MINISTER

“It would be a constitutional outrage if parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis. Profoundly undemocratic.”

NIGEL FARAGE, BREXIT PARTY LEADER

“The government’s announcement today makes a confidence motion now certain, a general election more likely and is seen as a positive move by Brexiteers. The unanswered question is whether Boris Johnson intends to pursue the Withdrawal Agreement.”

LEAVE.EU, PRO-BREXIT CAMPAIGN GROUP

“Boris is set to ask the Queen to suspend parliament until October 14, paving the way for a new Queen’s Speech - and preventing the Brexit-wrecking Remoaners from blocking a WTO Brexit. Finally, a PM who is willing to step up and defend the will of the British people!”

NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTLAND’S FIRST MINISTER

“So it seems that Boris Johnson may actually be about to shut down parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. Unless MPs come together to stop him next week, today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy.”

JORDAN ROCHESTER, NOMURA CURRENCY STRATEGIST

“It’s not ‘as bad’ as proroguing parliament completely but it’s reduced the time MPs had in October to block a no deal. For (the pound) to recover the fall this morning, rebel anti-no deal MPs will have to get their acts together in the first weeks of September. No more delaying.”

TOM BRAKE, BREXIT SPOKESMAN FOR PRO-EU LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTY

“If BBC News are correct @BorisJohnson’s just thrown down the gauntlet to parliamentary democracy. The mother of all parliaments will not allow him to shut the #PeoplesParliament out of the biggest decision facing our country. His declaration of war will be met with an iron fist.”

Compiled by Costas Pitas, Paul Sandle, Alistair Smout and David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison

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