A number of constituents have contacted me about the prorogation of Parliament.
Prorogation of Parliament before the State Opening of a new legislative session is not unusual. It is convention to prorogue Parliament before a Queen’s Speech. This ends one session of Parliament before the next starts. Each Queen’s Speech sets out the legislative programme for the Government to introduce its legislation. With a new Prime Minister this is to be expected, and there is therefore nothing unusual about this, particularly since the last legislative session of Parliament under the previous Prime Minister was uncommonly long in duration.
There are important legislative issues which need to be progressed. For example, to ensure we move forward on improving education funding (something I have long and hard campaigned for here), on ensuring access to health provision for our constituents is fit for their 21st century expectations, and importantly, on improving and strengthening our transport infrastructure, and supporting business.
Each autumn Parliament adjourns for the Party Conference season and this prorogation coincides with this season but, in fact, extends it for only a very short time longer – just a few working days. I anticipate from the information I have at present that Parliament this year will not sit from our last sitting day in September, being the 12th until the proposed return date of 14th October. In previous years the Conference recess dates when Parliament has not been sitting have been as follows:
2016 – 15/9 to 10/10
2017 - 14/9 to 9/10
2018 - 13/9 to 9/10
For those who are saying that this proposed prorogation limits the opportunity for Parliamentarians to debate Brexit, we have had three years of Parliamentary debate on Brexit and the overwhelming message I have received from my constituents is that we need to get on with honouring and implementing the decision of the 2016 referendum, to leave the EU. Of course, it would be best to do so with a good deal and the Prime Minister is striving to achieve this.
All MPs have had three opportunities to vote for a deal and many of those now complaining that there is a possibility of our leaving without a deal, did not do so. Their complaints now ring hollow.
It was very clear to me, on the doorstep, in the last local elections that people want Brexit delivered in accordance with the 2016 referendum and they were distinctly angry that this had not happened. Those MPs arguing that there are constitutional improprieties about what the Prime Minister has done which, as mentioned above I disagree with, are, to my knowledge, predominantly, if not all, remain supporters who should be open about their motives which are fundamentally to thwart the democratic decision of the 2016 referendum and keep the UK in the EU. That would be a constitutional outrage and would undermine confidence in our democracy for a generation or more.