By Arun Srivastava
Quite intriguing how could Brexit drag the Queen into the heart of Britain’s political crisis. Apprehensions were already there that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson would take recourse to suspending the parliament, but his move would come so soon is really a matter of conjecture.
The exigencies for getting the parliament prorogued was so acute for Boris that he could not wait for Queen to come back to England after spending her annual retreat at Balmoral, the remote Victorian estate nestled in Scotland’s Dee valley.
On Wednesday morning she was interrupted by a request from Boris to suspend Parliament for more than a month. With the Labour and other opposition parties including the Tory rebels ready to foil his move to have a no deal Brexit, Boris has no time to wait. He followed the rule, assault before the enemy acts. The deadline for Britain to leave the European Union, October 31, fast approaching Johnson has said that he’s prepared to quit without a deal.
Johnson’s decision to start a new parliamentary session on October 14 and precede it with an unusually long break of up to five weeks is a trick to deny the opportunity to strike to his political opponents.
The logic behind the idea goes something like this: less time for the UK parliament to stop a no-deal Brexit means the EU will have to take Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 more seriously.
Yet another perceptible reason has been the inevitability of obstructing Corbyn from ascending to the office of prime minister, even if for provisional period. Notwithstanding a large section of the Tories were not in the favour of no deal Brexit and assured Corbyn of their support to his fight against Boris, they were not in favour of Corbyn becoming the temporary prime minister.
In protest against suspension of parliament, Corbyn, wrote to Her Majesty describing the move “outrage and a threat to our democracy.” There is speculation that, if Johnson loses a vote of confidence next week, he could set in motion plans for a general election on November 1, the day after Brexit day. Obviously parliament wouldn’t be sitting on one of the momentous days in modern British political history.
In his letter Jeremy protested: “I protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party and I believe all the other opposition parties are going to join in with this in simply saying that suspending Parliament is not acceptable.” Corbyn said he will attempt to prevent the move and challenge the Prime Minister with a vote of confidence. He has called for a public vote on Johnson’s Brexit plan.
That is why Labour has been working across Parliament to hold this reckless government to account, and prevent a disastrous No Deal which parliament has already ruled out. Corbyn said; “If Johnson has confidence in his plans he should put them to the people in a general election or public vote.”
Queen Elizabeth has always remained above party politics. But this time much against the political decorum and sanctity Boris has used the monarchy much against the wisdom of the polity.
With the British parliament deadlocked and the future of the deal agreed between the UK and the EU in limbo, the chances of a no-deal Brexit has acquired a new dynamics. Yesterday’s incident makes it implicit that Britain’s departure from the EU on October 31 would be the most painful exercise of Britains’s political establishment. Such a move would be unprecedented, not just for Britain but for the world. A no-deal Brexit is viewed by some as a more existential threat for established global systems.
After suspension of the UK parliament the European Commission has adopted a non-committal stance. Its spokesperson Mina Andreeva declined to comment on the UK government’s move to suspend parliament, on the plea that this is a matter for the British government to answer.
But with Parliament due to return from its annual summer break on September 3, they now have just a few days to engineer the required legislation before Johnson’s suspension takes effect. In case the negotiations with the EU fail and Johnson sets a path to no-deal, things could look very different. Majority of MPs who oppose no-deal now have just a few days to pass any legislation preventing a hard break with the EU. Undeniably Boris has put Britain in a tight situation and this eventually erodes the credibility of UK irrespective of the fact whether deal or no-deal Brexit takes place. (IPA Service)