Peers back bid to stop Boris Johnson suspending Parliament to deliver Brexit

Posted On: 
17th July 2019

Peers have backed an attempt to prevent the next Prime Minister from shutting down Parliament in order to force a no-deal Brexit.

The Lords backed plans to make ministers produce regular reports on the situation in Northern Ireland ahead of the crucial Brexit deadline.

They voted 272 to 169 in favour of an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill which its supporters claim will prevent Parliament being prorogued in the run-up to 31 October.

The move sets up a major Commons showdown when the legislation is debated again by MPs on Thursday.

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Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, a staunch opponent of a no-deal Brexit, launched a similar bid last week.

Elements of the senior Tory's plan were trimmed back by MPs, but a key amendment scraped through by a single vote and requires ministers to produce regular reports in the run up to the Brexit deadline on attempts to get the Stormont executive back up and running.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out proroguing Parliament to try and ensure Britain leaves the EU on Hallowe'en, and it was reported this week that his team is considering holding his first Queen's Speech in early November to keep Parliament closed in the preceding two weeks.

But the move to make it harder to shut down has now been endorsed by peers, meaning it will go back to the Commons for a fresh showdown.