Parliament suspension: The power rests with the people

“Whilst legal challenges will inevitably mount and dedicated pro-Remain MPs like Caroline Lucas will fight tooth and nail in Westminster against both the sidelining of Parliament and the no-deal hell that threatens to follow, the power to stop this now rests with the people.” Following Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament in a bid to prevent MPs from frustrating his attempts to force through a no-deal Brexit, Green Party Co-leader Jonathan Bartley calls on the people to get active to stop a disastrous no-deal Brexit.

People in the crowd at a People's Vote march
People in the crowd at a People's Vote march

Flickr / SevenSeventyFive / cc-by-2.0

Jonathan Bartley

As this morning’s terrible news broke, it felt a bit as if this uncertain summer during which we staggered through burning heatwaves and a shady Conservative leadership election had come to a terrible and cataclysmic end. The prospect of a crash-out Brexit suddenly looms large like a Sword of Damocles hanging precariously over all our heads. 

With the prime minister’s cynical, cowardly and duplicitous announcement that he was calling for the prorogation of Parliament, a move rightly branded a “constitutional outrage” by the Speaker of the House of Commons, our chances of stopping this power grab and the ensuing chaos that will likely follow from a cliff-edge EU exit look dangerously thin. 

Whilst legal challenges will inevitably mount and dedicated pro-Remain MPs like Caroline Lucas will fight tooth and nail in Westminster against both the sidelining of Parliament and the no-deal hell that threatens to follow, the power to stop this now rests with the people.

This move from the Prime Minister is something you would expect in a dictatorship – not the ‘mother of all parliaments’. Once again it underlines the urgent need for reform of our broken system – with proper representation at Westminster and a codified constitution.

it’s easy and understandable to feel angry, helpless and like we’re running out of time. But we can't just get indignant – we must get active. We can use the moment to draw attention to the urgent need for profound and wide-ranging political reform and a shift of power back to the people. 

Making our voices heard through signing this government petition is a good first step and something that can be done in the time it takes to boil a kettle. The petition has already passed the threshold of signatures it needs to be considered by Parliament. Every voice we can add to it will increase its impact.

When you have done that, it’s time to take to the streets. Thousands of people have already arranged to mobilise tonight outside Westminster and demand that the government be held to account – and that Parliament must not be sidelined in this authoritarian coup. 

The future is uncertain and things are changing rapidly by the minute. But many MPs are defiant and they need to know we are with them.

At moments like this profound change can happen – for ill but also for good. We must seize the moment. Our future is in our hands. 

You can find the petition against prorogation on the Parliament website.