17/06/2017 22:31 BST

Parliament Session Extended To Help Push Brexit Legislation

Unusual move for unprecedented challenge.

PA Wire/PA Images
Downing Street said a 'rare' move to change the dates of the current parliamentary session was needed to bring about Brexit on time

Parliament will sit for two years instead of the usual one to give MPs enough time to fully consider the laws required to bring about Brexit on time.

Downing Street said it will double the current parliamentary session in order to pass legislation critical for the UK’s exit from the European Union, set to take place on March 29 2019.

The rare move will allow both Houses of Parliament more time to probe the Great Repeal Bill, as well as new legislation needed to replace existing EU laws.


What is a parliamentary session?

Each Parliament is usually divided into five parliamentary years called ‘sessions’, beginning and ending in the spring. A sitting is a meeting of either House at the end of which the House adjourns (pauses) until the next sitting.

Source: House of Commons


Commentators said the move suggests backbench Tories are forcing embattled Prime Minister Theresa May to focus solely on Brexit over the coming years.

Leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom said the move would give MPs and Lords the time needed to scrutinise forthcoming legislation.

She said: “Whilst our top priority right now is supporting the victims of the terrible tragedy at Grenfell tower, we also need to look ahead by setting out a legislative programme that not only delivers a successful EU exit but also a domestic agenda which aims to tackle the social injustices in our country.

“The UK will spend the next two years preparing for our departure from the European Union in a way that best places us to realise the opportunities ahead and build a fairer society.

“This will require substantial amounts of legislation, beginning with the Great Repeal Bill.

“We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving Parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinise these bills by holding a two-year session of Parliament.

“It will mean we can work together to deliver a successful Brexit deal and a strong social legislative programme that delivers justice and opportunity to everyone.”

Read all you need to know from the world of Brexit by signing up to HuffPost’s weekly Brexit Briefing - sent straight to your inbox every Thursday.

And subscribe on iTunes to HuffPost’s weekly Commons People podcast for the best analysis straight from Westminster.