Prorogation in the U.K. and what it means for Brexit
LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament.
Here's what that means and why it's important.
According to The Guardian, prorogation is a formal mechanism to end a session of parliament.
When this happens, the House of Commons is suspended, and any unfinished legislation from the current session stops progressing.
Prorogation must be approved by the Queen, following guidance from her Privy Council.
It typically lasts only a short time, with the start of a new session marked by a speech from the Queen detailing the government's new agenda.
While these proceedings are normal and happen yearly, the five-week prorogation requested by Boris Johnson is unusually long.
It is set to begin no earlier than September 9 and no later than September 12, and will last until October 14.
With the Brexit deadline set for October 31, MPs have just a little over two weeks to scrutinize Johnson's Brexit plans.
Such a long prorogation would likewise restrict MPs from pushing legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called Johnson's move a "smash and grab" on the country's democracy.
The BBC reports that hundreds protested the prorogation outside Westminster Wednesday night, with more demonstrations slated over the weekend.
More than a million have also signed a petition appealing for parliament not to be prorogued.