The Guardian view on proroguing parliament: an affront to democracy | Editorial




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The prime minister’s action might adhere to the letter of the law but in spirit it is an act of wanton constitutional vandalism

Boris Johnson has written many dishonest things in his life, but few as consequential as the letter sent on Wednesday to MPs explaining his decision to seek a prorogation of parliament. The prime minister says that a new Commons session is needed to enact a “bold and ambitious legislative agenda”. To that end the current session must be closed. His plan envisages a Queen’s speech in the middle of October

No one is fooled, although government ministers make fools of themselves by parroting their leader’s line. Prorogation is a device to silence parliament during a critical period approaching the 31 October Brexit deadline. Mr Johnson cannot be sure of majority support in the Commons for a withdrawal agreement and he would certainly not have the numbers for leaving the EU without one. So he wants to dispense with legislative scrutiny altogether.

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