SHUTTING down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit is ‘simply not going to happen’, Commons speaker John Bercow has insisted.
He intervened after Tory leadership candidate Dominic Raab (below), the former Brexit secretary, said he would be prepared to temporarily close, or prorogue, Parliament to ensure Brexit takes place on October 31.
Mr Bercow told MPs it was ‘blindingly obvious’ that Parliament ‘will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process on this important matter’, adding: ‘That’s simply not going to happen.’
Leadership rival Rory Stewart called Mr Raab’s plan for a shutdown ‘illegal’. Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd said it was ‘outrageous’, adding: ‘We are not Stuart kings.’
Meanwhile, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, launched a pointed attack on Boris Johnson, who has said Theresa May’s Brexit deal would make the UK a ‘vassal state’.
He said: ‘I think it demeans language. People use words like vassal state and treachery, traitor. You are not a traitor if you disagree with me about Europe.’
There was speculation MPs’ summer recess would be moved forward, allowing the new Tory leader to avoid an early no-confidence vote. But No.10 said it ‘fully expected’ the House to be sitting when they take over.
■ A HANDFUL of consultancy companies have made millions of pounds each from secretive government Brexit contracts, inspectors have revealed. Of contracts worth £97million tracked down by the National Audit Office, 96 per cent were won by just six big firms. Whitehall departments have failed to meet transparency standards for reporting details of the deals, the NAO said. Ministers have set aside nearly £4billion for Brexit preparations.