It has been announced in the last hour that Parliament prorogues at the close of business today. With all the talk of political gridlock, to shut down Parliament today must mean Boris Johnson has a plan.
Whilst Prime Minister is over in the Republic of Ireland meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, it has been confirmed that Parliament will be prorogued until the middle of October immediately after a second vote on a possible General Election today.
There is no surprise that the Prime Minister is proroguing Parliament, indeed he sent his privy councillors to meet the HM The Queen some weeks ago to get approval, so we all knew it was coming.
What is more surprising is how soon it is. The expectation was that Parliament would be sitting until Thursday. With today’s shutdown of Parliament, it means that no business will take place, any business already making its way through the path to becoming law will be abandoned, and Boris will not face PMQ’s on Wednesday.
It’s interesting that as Prime Minister, Boris has only faced one PMQ’s.
In today’s Parliamentary proceedings, the Speaker, John Bercow, has allowed for two “Standing Order 24” emergency debates, one from Dominic Grieve, and cryptically, one from Jeremy Corbyn on the subject of ‘the rule of law’. Those emergency debates are expected to get underway at around 15:30.
Elsewhere, a leak from the Conservatives shows that Boris has seen polling data over the weekend that points to the Tories remaining as the largest party in a General Election, but without enough seats for a majority.
It makes it very clear as to why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t want an election – he won’t win one. He wouldn’t be able to dethrone the Conservatives, even if they were only the largest party. Labour are simply haemorrhaging votes to the Brexit Party and to the Liberal Democrats.
The concern for the Lib Dems is that they will certainly return some MP’s, but there is a very strong likelihood that the Brexit Party would overtake them on the number of MP’s and become the favoured pact-makers keeping Johnson in Downing Street.
So that easily explains as to why the Lib Dems similarly don’t want a General Election any time soon.
Where the SNP, who are currently the third largest party in the House of Commons, are concerned – it would appear that both the Conservatives and Labour are not factoring the Scottish constituencies into their electoral thinking and planning. The SNP, if they manage a clean sweep in Scotland (and that’s far from certain), would still not represent a threat of significant concern to Boris, more just an inconvenience that will have already been factored into Number 10’s thinking.
It becomes very clear therefore that, with the push for a General Election, proroguing Parliament early, and with the notable way in which Boris is running is war-game… he, and his advisers most definitely have a plan.
What happens after Parliament prorogues this evening, will make for fascinating watching, especially if you are a follower of politics, even more so if you are a follower of all things Brexit!