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Constitution

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What is proroguing Parliament?

Proroguing is the term used to describe shutting down Parliament. The process of prorogation happens regularly, normally in spring at the end of each parliamentary session. This is usually a procedural, technical process. However, in the context of Brexit, prorogation was discussed as a route to shutting down Parliament against its will. It was seen by advocates as a potential route to secure a no deal Brexit if MPs were intent on blocking such an outcome. The government attempted to prorogue Parliament in September 2019, claiming it needed to introduce a new Queens Speech, but many thought it had been done to curtail Parliament’s ability to intervene on Brexit. This decision was challenged in court and the Supreme Court quashed the prorogation in an 11-0 decision, saying that it was unlawful and never happened. Parliament therefore returned.

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