Boris Johnson set to suspend UK Parliament until October 14

Our patron John Bercow to stand down as Commons Speaker

Our patron John Bercow to stand down as Commons Speaker

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, announced that he will resign on October 31 and not seek re-election as an MP.

In exceptional scenes as the parliament shut down for five weeks, opposition Labour MPs waved signs reading "silenced", while one tried to restrain the speaker to prevent him leaving for the suspension ceremony.

Parliament has ordered the government to seek an extension if there is no deal by late October, but Johnson is vowing not to seek a delay.

An opposition-backed law compelling the government to seek a three-month delay from the European Union if no deal has been agreed by Oct 19 became law Monday after receiving royal assent.

Meanwhile, MPs backed calls, by 311 votes to 302, for the publication of government communications relating to the suspension of Parliament and no-deal Brexit plans, known as Operation Yellowhammer.

Despite publicly stating that he wanted a general election for two years, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led the effort to block Johnson's request until after Brexit is delayed.

The government is obliged to release the documents under parliamentary rules.

Some critics had said Johnson's move to suspend Parliament was an effort to pre-empt legislation to block Britain from leaving on October 31 without an agreement.

MPs who are trying to stop a no-deal Brexit called the suspension a "coup". But he has few easy ways out of it. His insistence he will never do any such thing has led to speculation he could find himself in court - and even prison - for refusing to obey the law.

The prime minister has had a turbulent week since Parliament returned from its summer break on September 3.

To call an election, the government needs 434 votes - two-thirds of all lawmakers elected to the 650-seat lower house of parliament.

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Ahead of the vote on an early general election, the prime minister suffered another defeat in the House of Commons.

But he has failed to impress MPs on his own side, annoying many of them by suspending parliament and also by kicking senior figures like Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond and Sir Nicholas Soames out of the parliamentary party for going against him.

"'No deal' would not be a clean break; it would not mean just getting on with it; it would start a whole new period of confusion and delay", Mr. Corbyn told MPs during a debate Monday.

The comments marked a change of tone, if not substance, for Johnson, who is accused by opponents of driving Britain at full-tilt toward a cliff-edge Brexit.

Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull, reporting from outside parliament, said the prime minister's options were "extremely limited" and that attention would now focus on the Brussels Summit on October 17 and whether Johnson was able to secure a new deal.

Reports yesterday suggested that private polling conducted by the Conservative Party put the government on course to win a snap election, but without a majority, resulting in further political turmoil.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, champion of parliament in its move to rein in the prime minister over Brexit, took a veiled swipe at Johnson as he announced on Monday he would stand down from the role, issuing a warning to the government not to "degrade" parliament.

But Brussels and Dublin have insisted the so-called backstop mechanism must remain in place to guarantee no return to a hard border between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland, which suffered decades of deadly sectarian violence.

Varadkar said he was open to any alternatives that were "legally workable", but none had been received so far.

The British leader wants the bloc to scrap a special provision in the deal agreed by May to keep the Northern Irish border open in all circumstances after Brexit, arguing "alternative arrangements" exist.

Parliament returned from its summer break last week, and Johnson has lost all six votes held in the House of Commons since.

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