Cheered on by U.S President Donald Trump, Johnson launched his boldest move yet to take the country out of the European Union by Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal, by setting a new date for a state opening of parliament.
Known as the Queen’s Speech, the formal event will be held on Oct. 14 and be preceded by a suspension of the House of Commons, meaning parliament will not sit between mid-September and mid-October.
The move, which had to be approved by Queen Elizabeth, limits the time opponents have to derail a disorderly Brexit, but also increases the chance that Johnson could face a vote of no-confidence in his government, and possibly an election.
It also risks dragging the 93-year-old, politically neutral queen into the dispute. So incensed were leaders of the opposition parties by Johnson’s plan that several have written to the monarch asking for a meeting to express their concern.
The queen acts on the advice of her prime minister. Her office declined to comment. Her speech at the opening of parliament is written by the government, outlining its plans for legislation.