Suspending Parliament - What's Up with That?


Founding Member
We have today (8/28/19) seen a news report that your new Prime Minister is asking Queen Elizabeth to temporarily suspend Parliament to prevent the opposition from scuttling Brexit. I know if someone over here tried to suspend Congress we might actually have an armed conflict in a responsive outrage. The UK, of course, has fewer guns. However, I wonder whether you folks "across the pond" see this as seriously as we would see it. I don't know how often this has happened in the past so have no cultural context for it.


Staff member
Doc, my understanding (which is limited) is that factions within the Conservative party do not want Brexit. Then there are factions within the opposing parties that do not want Brexit. By collaborating, they want to stop Brexit with no-deal. They want to stop a process of leaving Europe which was part of a democratic process.

On the flip side, it could be argued that if they gave a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, this is part of a democratically created law. So that is legit.

Then let me flip again and use the same argument for Boris closing down parliament, since that is law too.

Ultimately, the UK democratically voted to leave the EU. But no one can agree suitable terms that the EU will also accept. So, Boris wants to force through Brexit, rather than endlessly squabble and delay what has already been delayed multiple times, the exit.


Founding Member
Understood. I am not sure that we could ever legally suspend Congress. Sometimes I want to suspend some of them with a single rope from a tree branch, but only sometimes.


Founding Member
I am seeing in the USA news rags that some people have been circulating petitions and that they have as many as a million signatures to prevent the closure of Parliament. What is that old Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times.


Founding Member
It would appear that Boris Johnson's attempt to side-step Parliament has failed and he will probably face a "no-confidence" vote, though the article I saw in the local news rag wasn't clear on whether by losing a particular vote he hadn't already been given such a vote. You guys over the pond have a different way than we do, but your political events are just as lively in their own way.
I understand that tensions are running quite high now. Perhaps it will help you understand that USA politics has become polarized to the point of many outright yelling and screaming matches. Not limited to Congress - but they can get quite heated.