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Protests Held Over UK Prime Minister’s Move to Suspend Parliament

Thousands of people across Britain and Northern Ireland turned up on Saturday protesting the move by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend parliament for about a month before the deadline for the country to leave the European Union.

Johnson promised to ensure Brexit takes place on October 31 with or without a deal on future relations with the bloc.

The move to shut parliament for around a month in the period before that will hinder efforts by his opponents to stop him.

About 2,000 people gathered outside his office in Downing Street, chanting: “Liar Johnson, shame on you!”

The government says it is usual for parliament to be suspended before a new prime minister outlines his policy program in a Queen’s speech, now scheduled for October 14.

His supporters also say parliament usually breaks in late September, when the main political parties hold their annual conferences.

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However, his critics say the suspension, known as a prorogation, is unusually long and describe the move as a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the time that lawmakers will have to debate before Britain leaves the EU at the end of October.

Opposition lawmakers want to prevent the shutdown of parliament and pass legislation to avoid a no-deal Brexit when they return from summer recess on Tuesday.

Protests were also lined up in other major cities in the four nations of the United Kingdom, comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

About 100 people protested outside the city hall in Belfast, the capital of the Northern Ireland, which has become a particular focus in the Brexit negotiations as it has the United Kingdom’s only land border with the European Union.

A court case being heard in Belfast next week aims to block Johnson’s suspension of parliament on the grounds that a no-deal Brexit would breach the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to the British-run province of Northern Ireland.

Protesters said the government had failed to take into account the importance of the border issue.

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Written by How Africa

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