The British prime minister has just pulled off a constitutional coup. He requested the queen to suspend Parliament for about six weeks ahead of the October 31 deadline for a Brexit deal or a no-deal exit from the EU; and since the queen’s consent is a mere formality, Her Majesty complied.
This ploy will drastically narrow the window for debate on the terms of Brexit. Johnson is gambling that weakening debate in the House of Commons increases the chances that he will have the votes to lead the U.K. out of the EU, deal or no deal.
But Johnson may have miscalculated, and may have strengthened the hand of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Until Johnson’s latest move, Corbyn, whose own party is divided on Brexit, had decided to delay the strategy of trying to force a vote of no confidence on the prime minister and force new elections because Corbyn wasn’t sure he could muster the votes.
Now, however, Johnson has managed to unify the several fractious opposition parties in common outrage against himself. Under the suspension order, the House of Commons goes out of session as early as September 9. This gives Parliament just over a week to muster a vote of no confidence—and muster the reckless Johnson out of office.
His latest move has just increased the odds of his own ouster.