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UK Parliament Suspended After 3 Defeats for Johnson

Opposition lawmakers shouted 'Shame on you'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 10, 2019 4:01 AM CDT
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Protesters argue in Parliament Square in London, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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(Newser) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson has succeeded in his plan to suspend Britain's rebellious Parliament for five weeks, but he has achieved little else in his first prolonged jousting with legislators determined to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The simmering showdown between Johnson and Parliament over Brexit came to a head as lawmakers delivered three defeats to the government's plans for leaving the European Union, before being sent home early Tuesday for a contentious five-week suspension of the legislature, the AP reports. In a session that ran well past midnight, Parliament ordered the government to release private communications about its Brexit plans and rejected Johnson's call for a snap election to break the political deadlock. Parliament was then suspended—or prorogued—at the government's request until Oct. 14, a drastic move that gives Johnson a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move.

What is usually a solemn prorogation ceremony erupted into raucous scenes as opposition lawmakers shouted "Shame on you" and held up signs reading "Silenced." Parliament's suspension ended a day of blows to the embattled Johnson. First an opposition-backed measure designed to stop Britain from crashing out of the EU on Oct. 31 without a divorce deal became law after receiving the formal assent of Queen Elizabeth II. The law compels the government to ask the EU for a three-month delay if no deal has been agreed by Oct. 19, though Johnson has vowed not to ask for another delay. Legislators also demanded the government release emails and text messages among aides and officials relating to suspending Parliament and planning for Brexit amid allegations that the suspension is being used to circumvent democracy. Then, early Tuesday, lawmakers rebuffed, for a second time, Johnson's request for an early election.

(Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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