Remainers ‘crying wolf’ over suspension of parliament – Rees-Mogg

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Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Remain-backing MPs of “crying wolf” with their protests against the suspension of parliament.

Mr Rees-Mogg yesterday led a government delegation to Balmoral Castle, where the Queen approved a government request to prorogue parliament for up to five weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October.

The move prompted fury and protests at Westminster, amid claims of “constitutional outrage”.

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament
Image: There were protests outside parliament against the government’s action

MPs accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government of sidelining parliament in order to push through their Brexit plans – which could include no deal – against the wishes of the House of Commons.

However, the government defended the decision to suspend parliament from mid-September and stressed the action is about kickstarting Mr Johnson’s domestic agenda.

A Queen’s Speech will reopen parliament on 14 October and lay out the new government’s policies in areas such as education, the NHS and crime.

The prime minister insisted MPs will have “ample” time to debate Brexit before the Halloween deadline.

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Speaking to Sky News, Mr Rees-Mogg described the upcoming prorogation as “routine” and “actually quite boring”.

“But the arch-Remainers who don’t want us to leave the EU have started crying constitutional crisis, but actually they’re crying wolf,” he added.

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The leading Brexiteer also laid down a challenge to those MPs opposed to the UK’s exit from the EU.

He appeared to dare them to try to topple the government through a no-confidence motion, or legislate to reverse Brexit.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Those who don’t want to leave the EU have to screw their courage to the sticking point.

“There are two ways for them to stop us leaving the EU: one is to change the government; and the other is to change the law.

“They don’t seem willing to do either of these two things because, actually, 17.4 million people voted to Leave and they don’t want to blow a raspberry at more than half of the electorate.

“That’s why they cry constitutional crisis, which is actually cover and code for them trying to keep us in the EU against the law of the land and against the referendum result.”

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Former Conservative minister Alistair Burt, who voted three times for ex-prime minister Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement, accused Mr Rees-Mogg of peddling the “untrue” line that all MPs concerned about no deal “want to remain in the EU”.

Labour’s shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner told Sky News he was “amazed” at “how easily Jacob Rees-Mogg, with what superior tone, he twists the facts”.

“This is a constitutional outrage,” he added.

File photo dated 04/05/19 of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson
Image: Ruth Davidson is set to quit as Scottish Tory leader

Mr Gardiner set out how Labour would try to force an emergency debate when the Commons returns from its summer break next week.

The opposition would then try to “mandate the government” to seek an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period, thereby delaying Brexit, in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament has also brought the threat of being challenged in the courts, with ex-prime minister Sir John Major saying he was seeking advice on its legality.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who previously won a case against the government’s triggering of Article 50, has already filed an application for urgent judicial review.

Later on Thursday, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is expected to quit – in part due to her unhappiness with Mr Johnson and for family reasons.

Her resignation will be a massive worry for the Tories.

She is credited with the Conservatives’ comeback in Scotland in the 2017 general election, when they won 13 seats which helped Mrs May cling to power.

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