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Collapse us if you can, British government dares Brexit opponents

Johnson's move to suspend Parliament for longer than usual was cheered by US President Donald Trump but provoked criticism from some lawmakers and media

Reuters 

File photo of Boris Johnson. Photo: AP/PTI
File photo of Boris Johnson. Photo: AP/PTI

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government on Thursday challenged opponents of to collapse the government or change the law if they wanted to thwart Britain's exit from the European Union.

More than three years since the referendum, the UK is heading towards its gravest constitutional crisis and a showdown with the EU over due in just 63 days.

In his boldest step since becoming PM, Johnson enraged opponents of a no-deal Brexit by ordering the suspension of Parliament for almost a month.

The speaker of the lower house of Parliament, John Bercow, said that was a constitutional outrage as it limited the time the 800-year-old heart of English democracy has to debate and shape the course of British history.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit supporter in charge of managing government business in Parliament, dared opponents to do their worst. “All these people who are wailing and gnashing of teeth know that there are two ways of doing what they want to do,” he said. “One, is to change the government and the other is to change the law. If they do either of those that will then have an effect. If they don't have either the courage or the gumption to do either of those, then we will leave on October 31 in accordance with the referendum result.”

Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament for longer than usual was cheered by US President Donald Trump but provoked criticism from some lawmakers and media. “Boris is obviously preparing for an election,” said Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke.

Ruth Davidson quit as leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland on Thursday, saying she could no longer juggle the demands of being a mother with the balancing act of Brexit.

First Published: Fri, August 30 2019. 02:47 IST
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