What Is Prorogation And What Will It Mean For The UK?
Earlier today, three Conservative members of the Queen's Privy Council visited the monarch's Scottish residence in Balmoral to request the suspension of Parliament on behalf of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Ever since, the UK has been gripped by a cocktail of shock, anger and confusion.
So, what exactly is happening and what will it mean?
Basically prorogation - a word which you might have been blissfully unaware of until today - is when Parliament is suspended for a short period by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, before a new session begins. During this period, there are no votes or debates.
Ordinarily, Parliamentary sessions last a year, but the current session has been running since the last general election, in June 2017.
The prorogation approved today means Parliament will be suspended from no earlier than Monday 9 September and no later than Thursday 12 September, until Monday 14 October. After this period, Mr Johnson said the Queen would deliver a speech in which she will detail his 'very exciting agenda'.
However, the move has been described as a 'constitutional outrage' by no less than the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow - who in his capacity does not ordinarily provide comment on such matters.
The outrage he and many others have expressed is founded on the understanding that the Prime Minister has sought prorogation in order to shorten the amount of time MPs have to get laws passed that could prevent a No Deal Brexit on Halloween.
It means Parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work for 23 working days, which is about a week longer than the planned party conference recess - that unlike the prorogation, was decided by a vote among MPs.
The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, described the Prime Minister's actions as a 'threat to our democracy'.
He said: "Boris Johnson's attempt to suspend Parliament to avoid scrutiny of his plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit is an outrage and a threat to our democracy. Labour will work across Parliament to hold the government to account and prevent a disastrous No Deal."
However, President Donald Trump has backed Mr Johnson in a tweet, claiming he will be a 'great' Prime Minister.
Supporters of the prorogation argue that it will help to enact the result of the 2016 referendum and ensure the UK leaves the EU by 31 October.
However, more than 560,000 people have signed a petition appealing for parliament not to be prorogued.
Featured Image Credit: PA