Boris Johnson 'takes legal advice on whether he can shut down parliament for five weeks to stop MPs forcing a further Brexit extension'
- Mr Johnson has reportedly asked Geoffrey Cox about shutting down parliament
- PM would send MPs away from Commons until shortly before European Council
- It would allow for a Queen's speech ushering in a new parliament on October 14
The Prime Minister has asked Attorney General Geoffrey Cox about the legality of the move, known as prorogation.
Mr Johnson would send MPs away from the Commons until shortly before the European Council summit of EU leaders on October 17, potentially preventing moves to block a no-deal Brexit.
The controversial move would allow for a Queen's speech ushering in a new parliament on October 14.
Any move to shut down parliament is likely to provoke fury among pro-Remain Tory and Labour MPs, as reported by The Observer.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: 'Any plan to suspend parliament at this stage would be outrageous. MPs must take the earliest opportunity to thwart this plan and to stop a no-deal Brexit.'
(left to right) Prime Minister Boris Johnson German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and President of the European Council Donald Tusk, at the EU meeting during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France yesterday
A source said: 'The claim that the Government is considering proroguing parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false.'
It comes as the government could be forced to publish the latest assessments of the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit when Parliament returns.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said he could use a parliamentary device to compel ministers to release documents linked to the Operation Yellowhammer no-deal preparations.
In a letter to Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister in charge of no-deal planning, Sir Keir indicates Labour could use a humble address to the Queen - a tactic the Opposition has used in the past to require the Government to disclose Brexit-related documents.
Sir Keir said Labour would 'not hesitate to use all parliamentary devices available' when Parliament resumes on September 3 to compel ministers to publish all the Operation Yellowhammer documents if the Government does not do so voluntarily, the Sunday Times reported.
The Prime Minister has asked Attorney General Geoffrey Cox about the legality of the move, known as prorogation
Leaked Operation Yellowhammer documents indicated the UK will be hit with a three-month 'meltdown' at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine after it leaves the EU without a deal.
In his letter, Sir Keir disputes Mr Gove's claims last week that the leaked -documents were out of date and outlined a 'worst-case scenario'.
He said: 'You challenged the claim that these anticipated effects of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement represented the Government's understanding of the base 'most likely' scenario and intimated the information was nevertheless out of date.
'However, the Government have not provided up-to-date information or explained what their assessment of the most likely effects is.'
Meanwhile the Cabinet Office is in the final stages of signing off the major media blitz to support businesses and the public, which will give information about what will be required for any scenario on October 31.
The campaign will feature TV and radio adverts, billboards, social media and a dedicated gov.uk website providing advice and information.
A fast and simple '60-second checker' on gov.uk is promised, which will help businesses and UK and EU citizens work out what, if anything, they need to do.
Meanwhile, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said businesses wanted Britain to 'crack on' and leave the European Union to put an end to uncertainty.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, she said many firms were 'overwhelmingly positive' about the future.
'I want businesses to see a team in the heart of Whitehall that's helping them to get the best out of Brexit - talking up their trade at every opportunity,' she said.
'Brexit is a once-in-a-generation chance,' she added. 'I believe that Britain's best years for business and for all our people lie ahead.'