The Prime Minister has asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament, marking the long-overdue end of this session of parliament. It’s an interesting fact that this sitting has been the longest since the “Long Parliament” of the English Civil War. Typically, Parliament is prorogued on a yearly basis and it is considered a very normal routine.
The Queen will therefore make a “Queen’s Speech”, officially starting a new session. The purpose of this is to introduce new bills, to match the promises made by the Prime Minister. This speech is concluded with a debate, which will give Parliamentarians ample time to discuss this approach.
The European Union has made many encouraging noises about re-negotiating the backstop in recent days as a response to the Prime Minister’s line of questioning. However, before they commit themselves, they are waiting to see if Parliament will extend Article 50, making any concessions unnecessary in their eyes.
This action means the potential for Parliament blocking an exit on the 31st of October is greatly diminished, putting the EU on action stations. They are now fully aware that if we do not pass a deal, we will leave without one. That has always been the way we will make the most progress on agreeing a deal.
Parliament will be in full session following the meeting of the EU council and this is therefore when we will see things happen.
However, leave we must. I cannot overstate the damage this continued uncertainty is doing, extending and extending our exit and putting all other issues in limbo. As we have seen, extensions do nothing except keep people waiting in a state of uncertainty for months longer. This is no way to continue and the Prime Minister is absolutely right to set a hard deadline, so we can get this done and move on.
Although I do not want to leave the EU without a deal, it is right the Government has been putting in extensive preparations for it. We must deliver on the 2016 referendum, we must return trust to our democracy and we must leave the EU on 31st October.