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West Norfolk MP backs Parliament suspension amid Brexit fury



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A West Norfolk MP has today defended the government's decision to suspend Parliament as the Brexit countdown continues.

Pro-EU campaigners in the borough have expressed outrage at the move, which will mean Parliament won't sit for several weeks during September and October.

But North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham this morning backed ministers' claims there would be "ample opportunity" to debate the issues following the Queen's Speech scheduled for October 14.

Mark Johnston created the petition (15861083)
Mark Johnston created the petition (15861083)

He said: "We have a new prime minister who is quite entitled to have a Queen's Speech. He's got a programme beyond Brexit and he wants to set that out."

The announcement that the Queen had yesterday signed an order to prorogue Parliament, the process through which a session is ended, prompted a furious response from politicians and large portions of the public.

More than 1.2 million people have signed an online petition against the move.

Sir Henry Bellingham (3023512)
Sir Henry Bellingham (3023512)

And Rob Colwell, chairman of the Norfolk for Europe campaign group, said the government had behaved "disgracefully" by bringing the monarch into the issue.

He said: "The Prime Minister is trashing our constitution because he knows that there is no majority in Parliament or in the country for an undemocratic No Deal.

"In the referendum campaign, Boris Johnson promised the people a 'great deal'. Now he's attempting to force through a No Deal which neither the people nor Parliament have voted for.

"This is neither fair nor democratic and we have to make our voices heard.”

Brexit People's Vote Campaign Stall, in High Street King's Lynn on Saturday 12th Jan 2019..LtoR, Vicky Fairweather, Rob Colwell, Dr Diarmuid Tiernan, Rob Archer, Erika Coward, Richard Coward, George Tiernan, Helen Tiernan.. (6469963)
Brexit People's Vote Campaign Stall, in High Street King's Lynn on Saturday 12th Jan 2019..LtoR, Vicky Fairweather, Rob Colwell, Dr Diarmuid Tiernan, Rob Archer, Erika Coward, Richard Coward, George Tiernan, Helen Tiernan.. (6469963)

But Sir Henry insisted the government does want a deal and had to make EU leaders understand the threat of walking away was a serious one.

He argued Mr Johnson had made good progress on the issue since moving into Downing Street last month and the government was "within touching distance" of resuming serious negotiations with the EU.

And he predicted the government would survive a motion of no confidence if one is tabled when MPs return to Westminster next week.

He said: "I say bring it on. It would clear the air."



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