Q&As

How is prorogation of Parliament relevant to Brexit?

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Published on LexisPSL on 02/09/2019

The following Public Law Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How is prorogation of Parliament relevant to Brexit?
  • What is prorogation of Parliament?
  • How is prorogation relevant to Brexit?
  • The same question rule
  • Delivering a no-deal Brexit
  • Further reading

How is prorogation of Parliament relevant to Brexit?

What is prorogation of Parliament?

Prorogation is an act which marks the end of a parliamentary session without the dissolution of Parliament. It occurs between sessions, to break a parliamentary deadlock, or before Parliament is formally dissolved prior to a general election. Prorogation differs from adjournment, during which Parliament does not sit for a period of time, but Parliamentary business can still continue as before.

The immediate effect of prorogation is to bring the current parliamentary session to an end. No business discussed in the previous session may be brought into the new session.

For background reading on prorogation generally, see Q&A: What is prorogation of Parliament?

How is prorogation relevant to Brexit?

Prorogation of Parliament has been raised several times in the Brexit debate. Two potential uses or effects of prorogation are of particular relevance in this context:

  1. prorogation as a mechanism to get around the ‘same question’ rule, and

  2. prorogation as a vehicle for ensuring the delivery of a no-deal Brexit

The same question rule

The same question rule means that the same, or a substantially similar, question may not be addressed twice in the same parliamentary session. This rule is particularly relevant in the context of the so-called ‘meaningful vote’ process under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018), which requires the UK government to secure Commons support for key

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