The Latest: Johnson to suspend UK parl’t before Brexit date

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LONDON (AP) – The Latest on reports that Britain’s leader will suspend Parliament to push through no-deal Brexit (all times local):

10:40 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will temporarily shut down Parliament in mid-October, squeezing the time for the opposition to thwart a no-deal Brexit.

In comments on Wednesday, Johnson confirmed earlier reports that he would hold the Queen’s Speech – normally a formality that outlines the legislative agenda – on Oct. 14. Since Parliament is normally suspended before the speech, the decision means opposition lawmakers would be unlikely to have enough time to pass laws blocking the U.K.’s exit from the European Union on Oct. 31 without a negotiated deal. 

Lawmakers are reacting with fury. 

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson says Johnson is embarking on a “dangerous and unacceptable course of action”.

She said: “Shutting down Parliament would be an act of cowardice from Boris Johnson.

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10:15 a.m.

The British currency has fallen sharply on reports that the government wants to suspend Parliament to quash lawmakers’ efforts to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The pound fell to $1.2187 on Wednesday from about $1.2300 the day before, a sign that investors are more alarmed by the prospect of Britain falling out of the European Union on Oct. 31 without a divorce deal.

A so-called no-deal Brexit would see the return of border checks and tariffs on trade between Britain and the rest of the EU, its greatest trading partner.

The BBC reported that Johnson will use the Queen’s Speech – normally a formality that outlines the legislative agenda – to suspend Parliament. The decision to hold the speech on Oct. 14 will be made later today.

The timing means that lawmakers would be unlikely to have enough time to pass laws blocking the U.K.’s exit from the European Union without a negotiated deal.

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10 a.m.

British opposition lawmakers are reacting with fury to reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will seek a suspension of Parliament to hamper efforts to quash a no-deal Brexit.

The BBC reported that Johnson will use the Queen’s Speech – normally a formality that outlines the legislative agenda – to suspend Parliament. The decision to hold the speech on Oct. 14 will be made later today.

The timing means that lawmakers would be unlikely to have enough time to pass laws blocking the U.K.’s exit from the European Union without a negotiated deal.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “So it seems that Boris Johnson may actually be about to shut down Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit. Unless MPs come together to stop him next week, today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during his final press conference at the G7 summit Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 in Biarritz, southwestern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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