LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II has approved an order from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament for a month, ahead of Britain’s scheduled date for Brexit on Oct. 31.
Parliament will be suspended from the second week of September until a Queen’s speech takes place on Oct. 14, the longest suspension in 40 years. During this period, new legislation cannot be passed and the time members of Parliament can debate Brexit or thwart the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit will be significantly reduced.
“We need new legislation, we’ve got to be bringing forward new and important bills and that’s why we’re going to have a Queen’s speech,” Johnson said in a pooled TV interview.
The pound fell to $1.22 on Thursday morning, following the announcement of Parliament’s suspension, as thousands of protesters gathered outside Westminster staging a #StopTheCoup rally.
Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Tory party, resigned shortly after the announcement acknowledging “the conflict [she has] felt over Brexit” among the reasons for her decision to step down, while opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called Johnson’s move “a smash and grab on democracy,” vowing to attempt to push legislation in Parliament next week to prevent the suspension from happening.
For retailers, the weak pound could offer an opportunity to buy more British fashion, which will now be cheaper.
Many small fashion businesses have already put measures in place to protect themselves against a chaotic no-deal exit, transferring manufacturing and packing operations to Continental Europe in a bid to avoid future World Trade Organization tariffs on imports and exports, post-Brexit.
Some brands have also switched their accounting from pounds to euros, and remain hopeful the U.K. will be able to strike deals — quickly — with countries including the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico once Britain leaves the old EU trading bloc.
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