THE TIMES: Times letters: Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 29/8/2019

Description

Sir, MPs had an opportunity to do something about prorogation when passing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (“Corbyn drags Queen into Brexit row”, thetimes.co.uk, Aug 28). Instead they approved what became section 6(1) of it: “This Act does not affect Her Majesty’s power to prorogue Parliament.”

Outraged politicians should stop spluttering that the Queen will be dragged into politics and be put in an awkward constitutional position when they object to some manoeuvre or other. Constitutional law and convention require the monarch when exercising a prerogative such as that of prorogation to act on the prime minister’s advice. She can warn privately against it, but if the PM persists in his advice the head of state must acquiesce. We should not muddle matters by speaking of the Queen. Boris Johnson alone is responsible for this constitutional fiddle.
Rodney Brazier

Emeritus professor of constitutional law, University of Manchester

Media coverage

TitleTimes letters: Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament
Media name/outletThe Times
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date29/08/19
DescriptionSir, MPs had an opportunity to do something about prorogation when passing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (“Corbyn drags Queen into Brexit row”, thetimes.co.uk, Aug 28). Instead they approved what became section 6(1) of it: “This Act does not affect Her Majesty’s power to prorogue Parliament.”

Outraged politicians should stop spluttering that the Queen will be dragged into politics and be put in an awkward constitutional position when they object to some manoeuvre or other. Constitutional law and convention require the monarch when exercising a prerogative such as that of prorogation to act on the prime minister’s advice. She can warn privately against it, but if the PM persists in his advice the head of state must acquiesce. We should not muddle matters by speaking of the Queen. Boris Johnson alone is responsible for this constitutional fiddle.
Rodney Brazier
Emeritus professor of constitutional law, University of Manchester
URLhttps://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-letters-boris-johnsons-suspension-of-parliament-fq3mfk7qr
PersonsRodney Brazier