"It's done," tweets a BBC reporter. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will temporarily shut down Parliament, squeezing the time for the opposition to thwart a no-deal Brexit. In comments on Wednesday, Johnson confirmed earlier reports that he had asked the queen to suspend parliament. The privy council that advises the queen met with her Wednesday at Balmoral and approved the order. The Queen's Speech—normally a formality that outlines the legislative agenda—will take place on Oct. 14. The AP explains that since Parliament is normally suspended before the speech, the decision means Parliament will be on ice from early September until then, making it unlikely that opposition lawmakers would have enough time to pass laws blocking the UK's exit from the European Union on Oct. 31 without a negotiated deal. More:
- The BBC reports Johnson said it was "completely untrue" that the move was part of a plan to end up with a no-deal Brexit and that there would be "ample time" to take up the subject. NBC News reports he said the current parliamentary session's duration has simply been too long.
- The BBC reports such sessions are typically a year in length; this one has been in effect since June 2017. Sky News quotes a letter from Johnson explaining that translates to more than 340 working days; "in almost 400 years only the 2010-12 session comes close, at 250 days."