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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Prorogation - 5 September 2019

 This week MPs returned to Parliament. But not for as long as we should be. 

I have received a lot of correspondence regarding the recent decision by the Prime Minister to prorogue Parliament and thought I would share my views on the matter with you here. Of course, by the time you read this there is every chance that it would have been overtaken by events!

The prorogation decision is clearly linked to our departure from the European Union. As I’m sure many of you know, I voted to remain in 2016 and have voted three times in Parliament to leave the EU. I voted according to the Vote Leave manifesto, to leave in an orderly manner with an agreement. As that is looking more unlikely, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the impact on our county and am disappointed that other MPs opposed to leaving without a deal failed to realise the consequences of their actions and didn’t join me in backing a deal on those occasions. And so, we now find ourselves in this appalling situation.

The decision to prorogue Parliament was not unconstitutional. But it will silence the elected representatives of the people, against the very concept of parliamentary sovereignty which was given as a key reason for leaving by so many people. It’s hardly democratic. That’s why I am disappointed with the decision of the Prime Minister to do this.

In mid-July there were a series of votes aimed at giving the Government the power to prorogue Parliament. Unlike many of my colleagues, I did not vote for this, for the reasons above.

Georgie Welford