The decision by the Prime Minister to prorogue Parliament for the Queen’s Speech to be held on the 14th October has caused widespread discussion and in some cases concern.
The reality of the situation is that Parliament will only sit for 7 days less than originally planned. Every year Parliament returns from summer recess for two weeks in September, then recesses again for almost 4 weeks for Party Conferences, before returning in the second week of October.
Had the PM not prorogued for the Queen’s Speech, then this year Parliament would have been in session for Column 1 below, compared to what will now happen as indicated in Column 2:
Column 1 Column 2
Tuesday 3rd September Tuesday 3rd September
Wednesday 4th September Wednesday 4th September
Thursday 5th September Thursday 5th September
Monday 9th September Monday 9th September
Tuesday 10th September NOT SITTING Day 1
Wednesday 11th September NOT SITTING Day 2
Thursday 12th September NOT SITTING Day 3
Recess for Party Conferences Recess for Party Conferences
Monday 7th October NOT SITTING Day 4
Tuesday 8th October NOT SITTING Day 5
Wednesday 9th October NOT SITTING Day 6
Thursday 10th October NOT SITTING Day 7
Monday 14th October Monday 14th October (Queen’s Speech)
For those who think Parliament should not have Party Conferences and sit to discuss Brexit, the reality is that, at this point in time, there is absolutely nothing more to discuss than what has already been debated over the last 3 years. Until the Prime Minister comes back with any amendment to the deal from Europe we are in the same position. As it stands, the European Council will sit on the 17th and 18th October when an amended deal (if any) will be discussed and ratified. In the meantime the government are in negotiations whilst we speak, so from a Parliamentary perspective, until we have something new to discuss, it is futile to debate the issue in Parliament.
The Prime Minister has said that he will bring any amended deal back to Parliament on 20th and 21st October for Parliament to debate and discuss. It will then be down to Parliament to decide whether any amended deal is acceptable.
I will also point out that Parliament has already decided that the alternative to any deal is a No Deal scenario. The vote in Parliament to trigger Article 50 was passed with a majority of 384 votes hence putting in legislation that No Deal is the default position of us leaving the EU if a deal could not be passed through Parliament.
As your MP, although I voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, the majority of people in the Calder Valley voted to Leave. I have always said that I would honour the result of the referendum and indeed the decision of the majority in the Calder Valley. That said, I also believe that leaving the EU with a deal is in the best interests of everyone who voted in the referendum whether Remain or Leave. If our new Prime Minister manages to secure amendments to the deal, then I will also support and vote for it.
Parliament now needs to take responsibility and either accept the deal OR accept that which the majority in Parliament have voted for and placed in legislation – A No Deal. The time for party politics is now over and Parliament now need to step up to take responsibility.