Petition To Stop Boris Johnson Proroguing Parliament Passes 250,000 Signatures
Despite being set up on August 5 by Mark Johnston, the petition gained many thousands of extra signatures in the immediate hours after it became clear the Prime Minister planned to suspend parliament.
Johnson has written to the Queen to ask for permission to suspend Parliament today.
Parliament must now discuss the petition in the House of Commons as it has easily surpassed the 10,000 number required for a government response and the 100,000 threshold that guarantees a parliamentary debate.
Critics of Johnson's decision have said that the planned shutdown of parliament from early September until October 14 - when a Queen's Speech will be delivered by the new government - is an attempt to stop MPs from blocking a No Deal Brexit.
The Queen's Speech was originally to be delivered on September 3, when MPs return to parliament after the summer recess.
Despite the move being called a 'constitutional outrage' by some, the Conservative government said that it is normal for parliament not to sit ahead of a Queen's Speech.
Mr Johnson said it was 'completely untrue' that he was trying to give parliament less time to debate and potentially scupper his Brexit plans.
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The petition, which has become one of the fastest growing ever on the UK Parliament petitions site, reads: "Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled."
Speaking about his decision in a letter to MPs, Johnson wrote: "We've got to move ahead now with a new legislative programme, and there will be ample time on both sides of that crucial 17 October [European Council] summit, in parliament, for MPs to debate the EU, to debate Brexit, and all the other issues."
The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow expressed his opposition to the move, saying: "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."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I am appalled at the recklessness of Johnson's government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit. This is an outrage and a threat to our democracy."
Mr Corbyn also suggests that, as the Leader of the Opposition, he would consider tabling a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government.
That vote could receive support from several other parties, including the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats, and even some within Johnson's own Conservative party.
Tory MP Dominic Grieve, an outspoken critic of Brexit, said: "If it is impossible to prevent prorogation then it is going to be very difficult for people like myself to have keep confidence in the government and I can well see why the leader of the Opposition might wish to call a vote of no confidence."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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