Parliament returns after the summer break tomorrow and I think it’s fair to say this recess has been rather more turbulent than usual. We are returning to a crisis, with a new Prime Minister who is determined to see us crash out of the EU with no deal.
I have received hundreds of emails over the last week from constituents who are outraged at Boris Johnson’s plans to shut down Parliament in an apparent attempt to force us into a no deal exit. I completely agree and last week joined hundreds of colleagues in signing the Church House Declaration, which stated that “shutting down Parliament would be an undemocratic outrage.”
Some supporters of Mr Johnson have suggested that the proposed shutdown of Parliament is only a few days longer than the party conference recess we always have at this time of year. However, what they fail to point out is that prorogation is different to recess.
During recess, we can still hold the Government to account and parliamentary business carries on as usual on our return. By contrast, once prorogation has taken place, most parliamentary business comes to an end and any unfinished business falls. In recent memory prorogation has only lasted for about a week, but Mr Johnson’s plan will see it last for five.
The next few days are likely to be very stormy. As I write, there is much speculation that the Prime Minister is about to call a general election. Whatever happens, I want to reassure all of you that I will do everything I can to try and prevent a no deal Brexit.