Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey threatened to shut down Parliament to trigger a no-deal Brexit

Andy Gregory
Sunday 09 June 2019 13:30
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Esther McVey has become the second Tory leadership hopeful this week to say they would shut down parliament in order to secure a no-deal Brexit.

Known as proroguing parliament, the process is a way of bringing a parliamentary session to an end prematurely, as happens during a general election, allowing the government to enact its wishes without MPs having a say.

Speaking to Andrew Marr, the former Work and Pensions secretary who claimed people reliant on food banks prioritised buying iPads, said:

I would use every tool at my disposal, so that would include [shutting down parliament].

Known as proroguing parliament, the process is a way of bringing a parliamentary session to an end prematurely, as happens during a general election, allowing the government to enact its wishes without MPs having a say.

Her comments echo those of former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday:

I think it’s wrong to rule out any tool to make sure that we leave by the end of October.

To do so would draw the Queen directly into our current constitutional crisis - traditionally the monarch must be the one to end a session of parliament in such fashion - meaning Her Majesty could be blamed for either enabling or obstructing a no-deal Brexit.

It also means that any bills without royal assent by the time parliament ends "die" and must be re-introduced in the next session, unless MPs pass a "carry-over" motion.

Needless to say, people were left incensed by the suggestion.

Others were quick to offer up a short history lesson, given that Charles I famously prorogued parliament in a chain of events that led to civil war and, eventually, his execution.

While others felt a more modern comparison was in order.

Read more: Andrea Leadsom claims it was made 'very clear' that people could lose their jobs in a no-deal Brexit

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