POLITICS
08/10/2019 20:41 BST | Updated 09/10/2019 09:15 BST

Parliament Has Been Prorogued As No-Deal Brexit Looms

Suspension to bring forward government's new domestic agenda comes amid tension between Downing Street and Brussels.

Parliament has been prorogued for six days as the UK faced the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

The prorogation - or suspension - started on Tuesday night and is much less controversial than the one sought by the PM earlier this year. 

This time, the move will allow the government to bring forward a new domestic agenda in a Queen’s Speech on October 14.

Boris Johnson had sparked outrage in September when he asked the Queen to close the session and shutdown the Commons for five weeks. 

But the Supreme Court then ruled the September 10 to October 14 prorogation unlawful, meaning the session had not technically ended at all.

Instead, MPs returned to the House of Commons on September 25 to resume parliamentary business.

The new suspension - which was as originally planned - comes as the mood music in Westminster and Brussels suggested the UK was set to leave the European Union without an agreement.

Johnson is to hold crunch talks with Irish premier Leo Varadkar amid accusations from No 10 that the EU was making it “essentially impossible” for Britain to leave with an agreement.

Earlier there was fury in Brussels following a series of No 10 briefings claiming German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made clear a deal was now “overwhelmingly unlikely”. 

SIPA USA/PA Images

No 10 sources claimed Merkel had told the Prime Minister that Britain could not leave the EU unless it was prepared to leave Northern Ireland behind in a permanent customs union.

European Council president Donald Tusk accused Johnson of engaging in a “stupid blame game” ahead of next week’s crucial EU summit.

The current session of parliament formally began on June 21 2017 with the State Opening of Parliament, including the Queen’s Speech.

It is the longest parliamentary session in the history of the United Kingdom

A total of 839 calendar days have passed since this session was opened, making it the longest continuous parliamentary session since the UK was established by the Acts of Union in 1800.