The Takeaway: This one appears to be ongoing. Stay tuned.
What Happened: For those who thought that Brexit wasn’t that bad because at least Parliament is there to keep everyone in line—that might not actually be the case anymore. Well, not in a week or two, anyway.
What Really Happened: Here’s a word that most people likely hadn’t heard before this week: “prorogue.” As in, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shocked the United Kingdom last week by announcing his intent to prorogue Parliament. It’s a somewhat archaic term to describe the act of, essentially, closing down government for a short period ahead of the next session, which is inaugurated with a speech by the Queen. Given that the British government is already on its summer vacation—set to end next week—and the Brexit deadline is at the end of October, it would be unexpected to say the least to prorogue Parliament when there’s so much work to do and so little time to do it in. And yet…
So, OK; that happened. For anyone wondering exactly what that means in practice, the answer is … not good for people who might have wanted to prevent a No Deal Brexit, where the United Kingdom runs out the clock on its negotiations with the European Union and has to withdraw without an agreement being reached, something that could be disastrous for the UK.
There had been plans for MPs from different parties to join forces to oust Johnson, and therefore put the brakes on a No Deal exit, but it’s hard to put any of that into action with parliament suspended, which may be the point.
Response to the decision to prorogue Parliament came quickly from all parties in the British political system.
And I really do mean all parties, with even some from Johnson’s own Conservative Party speaking out.
Also speaking out? John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons—a former member of Johnson’s Conservative Party—whose role traditionally means that he doesn’t get to pick sides on subjects such as this.
So, what does this mean, in reality? Opinions differed, based on which side of the ideological spectrum commentators seemed to be.
That doesn’t sound too bad! But, then again, perhaps it’s a little constitutional outrage-y, which might explain the multiple legal challenges the decision is facing.
Certainly, the British public don’t seem to think that it’s no big deal, as people took to the streets in response to the news.
The Takeaway: As of this writing, Parliament is still going to close down in early September, and Brexit is still going to happen October 31. How much of this will change by this time next week is open to question.
Why So Buggy?
What Happened: There’s no way to win at the internet, but sending letters of upset to someone who has made a joke at your expense and then disappearing from Twitter in a snit is definitely not the way.