Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has threatened to prorogue Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, with the MP for Escher and Walton stating he would dissolve the Commons so that the UK could leave the European Union by the 31 October deadline.
The statement comes after years of political infighting over Brexit in Commons, with Mr Raab taking a more hardline stance on Brexit by prorouging Parliament to block MPs from passing laws to delay or nix withdrawing from the EU.
Worth emphasising that at tonight’s Tory leadership hustings, Dominic Raab refused to rule out proroguing (ie shutting down) Parliament until 31 October if he becomes PM in order to ensure Brexit happens even if MPs oppose no-deal. That’s a big deal.— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) 5 июня 2019 г.
"You can try to lock the gates of Parliament," Tory rival Rory Stewart cautioned. "But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful."
We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic, and unacheivable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty constitution and traditions. https://t.co/2yjQiNje1q— Rory Stewart (@RoryStewartUK) June 5, 2019
UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the idea of dissolving Commons would work, adding that the last time anyone had tried, it sparked the English Civil War. Mr Hunt also stated that there was a "responsibility" to strike a balanced deal with Brussels.
"There is a deal here and we have a responsibility to find it," he told MPs. "If we go to the EU and put a gun to their head they're going to walk."
Commons speaker John Bercow also weighed in on Raab's statement, saying as quoted by HuffPost UK politics news editor Ned Simons that Parliament would not be evacuated "from the centre stage" of Brexit talks and that doing so would be "blindingly obvious".
John Bercow just now on Dominic Raab’s idea of proroguing parliament to get no-deal:— Ned Simons (@nedsimons) 6 июня 2019 г.
‘Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision making process on this important matter - that simply not going not happen it's just so blindingly obvious.’
Sam Gyimah lambasted Brexiteers employing such tactics as using "Trumpian machismo" who believed their own proposals would be better than outgoing PM May.
"You've got chest-beating men saying they could do what Theresa May failed to do," he told Bloomberg. "They're saying they could go and renegotiate in a Trump way and get a better deal."
But Damian Collins MP backed the idea of using "dynamic force" to pass a no-deal Brexit and threw his support behind leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson in a Times column.
Mr Collins said: "In these challenging times, I believe that a dynamic force is a very necessary thing."
MP Maria Caulfield also backed Mr Raab, stating he was the "only candidate who has so far guaranteed we will be leaving the EU on 31st October" and that it was evidenced "tonight in a strong hustings performance".
Only candidate who has so far guaranteed we will be leaving the EU on 31st October is @DominicRaab when others fudged the issue. Confirmed tonight in a strong hustings performance.— Maria Caulfield MP (@mariacaulfield) 5 июня 2019 г.
The Conservative party has suffered historic defeats in recent history, losing roughly 1330 councillors in May local elections and 14 seats in European Parliamentary elections on 23 May. UK prime minister Theresa May also announced on 24 May that she would resign as Prime Minister on 7 June following former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, sparking a fierce race for a successor amongst rival Conservative factions, with many backing frontbencher candidates as well as contrasting positions on Brexit.