LONDON — Opposition politicians raged Tuesday at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament before the deadline for Brexit, which drew angry and unprecedented protests in the House of Commons.
Parliament has been prorogued — or suspended — at the government’s request until Oct. 14, a drastic move that gives Johnson a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move as he tries to lead Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31.
Opposition lawmakers chanted “Shame on you” and held up signs reading “Silenced” as Parliament was formally shut down in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
As legislators implored House of Commons Speaker John Bercow not to comply, he expressed his displeasure, saying “this is not a standard or normal prorogation.”
“It’s one of the longest for decades and it represents ... an act of executive fiat,” Bercow said.
The suspension came after lawmakers inflicted a series of defeats on Johnson’s Brexit plans.
Johnson says the country must leave the EU at the end of October, with or without a divorce agreement to smooth the way. But many lawmakers fear a no-deal Brexit would be economically devastating, and are determined to stop him.
Opposition legislators, backed by rebels in Johnson’s Conservative Party, passed a law that compels the government to ask the EU for a three-month delay if no deal has been agreed by Oct. 19.
“I will not ask for another delay,” Johnson said.