Is it dangerous, just or what all government do? An affront to democracy, or bold and ambitious? The announcement that Boris Johnson has decided to bring a new Queen’s Speech before the Houses of Parliament, thus leading to the suspension of business at Westminster within days, has been greeted with surprise on all sides of the political divide. Plenty of reaction, much of it angry, has followed. So where does this leave the Queen?
Clearly, in a controversial situation. Her Majesty follows the advice of her ministers and Prime Ministers and right now they want her to call a halt to parliamentary business as of the week beginning September 10th 2019. On October 14th 2019, they want her to go to Westminster and deliver the Queen’s Speech setting out a new administrative programme.
The result is very little time for parliament to discuss the issue that has preoccupied it for three years, Brexit. Right now, Boris Johnson says the UK will leave by the deadline of October 31st 2019, most likely without a deal. In the last day, opposition politicians had outlined plans to stop that.
There has been widespread objection to the move to suspend parliament from UK politicians. The deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, said the decision was ‘”utterly scandalous” and called it an ”affront to our democracy”. The new leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Jo Swinson, called it ” a dangerous and unacceptable course of action”. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, called it ”a constitutional outrage”.
There has been little comment from government ministers so far. However, the Chairman of the Conservative Party, James Cleverly, said that Boris Johnson was doing what ”all new governments do” as he sets out his administration’s plans in a new Queen’s Speech.
The Queen is currently at Balmoral. The Privy Council will meet there later.