Prorogation of Parliament — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:17 pm on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 6:17 pm, 9th September 2019

Of course, any discussion of the number of days will be a matter for the usual channels when and if a deal is agreed. Unlike my hon. Friend Jeremy Lefroy, Justin Madders likes to shout, “No to no deal!”, but he regularly voted no to a deal earlier this year.

Prorogation is the normal end to a parliamentary Session. It remains a matter for the Prime Minister to advise the sovereign on, as it is a prerogative power. That has not changed since the Labour party was in Government. It is for the Government to determine the length of a parliamentary Session and to advise the Queen on the date for the state opening of Parliament. The state opening is marked by the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the programme of legislation the Government intend to pursue in the forthcoming parliamentary Session.

Normally, each parliamentary Session runs for a period of 12 months before Parliament is prorogued. The current parliamentary Session is an exception to the ordinary 12 months, as was touched on during the debate, with the last state opening of Parliament having taken place more than two years ago, on 21 June 2017. This has been the longest parliamentary Session for almost 400 years, far in excess of any of the others.