Prorogue What?

If you are a follower of international news, or any news for that matter, the word “prorogue” may have just entered your view for the first time ever. And in case you are wondering what the heck that is, let me give you some context.

Prorogue, or prorogation, is when Her Majesty The Queen suspends Parliament in advance of the Queen’s Speech, which opens a session of the British Parliament. Usually, you see a Queen’s Speech every year-ish, and especially when a new government is asked to take over, which just happened when Boris Johnson was asked to become Prime Minister by Her Majesty after Theresa May stepped down as PM. However, we haven’t had a Queen’s Speech since June 2017, which is a little unusual.

During prorogation, Parliament doesn’t meet, but they are still Members of Parliament. Unlike during an election cycle, when everyone basically gets booted out of office in order to run for re-election.

So what just happened? Basically, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who just became Prime Minister, asked Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament from September 9 to October 14 in advance of a Queen’s Speech, at which time Her Majesty will lay out the agenda and focus areas for Her Government in the near future.

Absolutely non-controversial and completely normal. But it doesn’t seem that way if you look at today’s news coverage right?

That’s because, on October 31 Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union, and this prorogation will put Parliament out of, well, out of Parliament and unable to pass any legislation until slightly more than 2 weeks before Brexit Day.

That’s why you have some members and former members of government saying this is completely normal, and others are crying foul.

Her Majesty has granted the request for prorogation made by the Prime Minister, as everyone expected her to do, since she is a devoted adherent to the British constitution.

So, as it currently stands, Parliament comes back to Westminster on 3 September, will be prorogued as early as 9 September and no later than 12 September, will be in prorogation until 14 October, will return for the Queen’s Speech, and will then be slightly more than two weeks before Brexit Day.