Lancaster and Fleetwood MP slams ‘outrageous’ plan to shut down parliament

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith said she will do all she can to defend democracy after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to shut down Parliament.

Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 12:57 pm
Pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit protesters hold flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 14, 2019 as members debate a motion on whether to seek a delay to Britain's exit from the EU. - MPs vote on March 14 on whether to seek a Brexit delay, as the chaotic process to end Britain's 46-year membership of the EU plunges the country into deep political crisis. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

She said she was “furious” with the proposal and had been contacted by constituents via email, telephone, and in the street following the announcement today, August 28.

The government has asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson told the BBC that a Queen’s Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his “very exciting agenda”.

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith

But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.

Ms Smith, a Labour MP, who voted to remain in the 2016 EU referendum, said: “Within minutes of the news breaking that the unelected Prime Minister plans to shut down Parliament I was contacted by constituents urging me to do all I can to stop this constitutional outrage.

“Like the vast majority of my constituents I am in total opposition to these plans and will do all I can to defend democracy.

“The unelected Prime Minister does not have a mandate to block MPs, elected by the people, from doing our jobs in the House of Commons and speaking up for our constituents at this moment of national crisis.

“No matter how you voted in the 2016 referendum, even vote Leave said they wanted to ‘take back control’ and make our Parliament sovereign – and I will challenge the Prime Minster to respect the sovereignty of our Parliament.”

Morecambe and Lunesdale Conservative MP David Morris has been contacted for comment.

In a statement today, the CEO of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisation warned that Boris Johnson is “inflicting unnecessary economic damage on an already vulnerable UK economy”.

Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, said: “It could be argued that Boris Johnson’s decision to ask the Queen to suspend parliament, and therefore to prevent democratically elected representatives of the people doing their job, is deeply unconstitutional and has the hallmarks of a tin-pot dictator.

“However, it could also be argued that it is Mr Johnson fulfilling, one way or another, the will of the British people who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

“It is likely to be a tactic to spook negotiators into making concessions to the Withdrawal Agreement. Whether it will work remains to be seen. It will almost certainly be challenged in the courts.”

He continues: “What we do know for sure though is that this step will inflict further unnecessary economic damage on an already extremely vulnerable UK economy.

“Depressingly, a recession is looming for Britain and Johnson’s highly controversial tactics seriously increase the uncertainty which will further drag on investment and trade.

“In addition, it will further batter the beleaguered pound, which reduces people’s purchasing power. Weaker sterling means imports are more expensive, with rising prices typically being passed on to consumers.”

Mr Green goes on to add: “The situation in the UK is deteriorating. As such individuals and businesses will, inevitably and quite sensibly, be looking to grow and safeguard their wealth by moving assets out of the UK through various established international financial solutions.

“Brexit has plunged Britain into an existential crisis that will last for generations.

“It has also already cost billions upon billions of pounds. Indeed, it has cost the UK economy a staggering £66bn in just under three years, according to S&P Global Ratings.

“But perhaps even worse is the haemorrhaging of opportunity and confidence in the UK that will continue far beyond the Halloween deadline.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament will have far-reaching economic effects, many of which will not be known for years to come.

“Domestic and international investors in UK assets need to watch the situation carefully and ensure that their portfolios are best-positioned to deal with the growing uncertainties.”