UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to suspend the Parliament for 12 days, squeezing time for opposition to thwart no-deal Brexit.

Johnson confirmed earlier reports that he would hold the Queen’s Speech on October 14.

Parliament returns from its summer break on September 3. By convention it is suspended for the annual conferences of the three main parties.

The final one, that of governing Conservatives, ends on October 2. But Johnson wants parliament to return 12 days later on October 14.

The decision means opposition lawmakers would be unlikely to have enough time to pass laws blocking the UK’s exit from the European Union on October 31 without a negotiated deal. 

A source in Johnson’s Downing Street office insisted that only around four sitting days in the lower House of Commons would be lost as a result.

Johnson is due to attend one last European Union summit on October 17. “There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 summit, ample time in parliament for MPs to debate,” he said.

The pound slumped almost one percent against the dollar and euro on the news, sliding 0.94 percent to US$1.2179, while the euro bought 91.09 pence.

The move enraged opposition MPs involved in trying to stop Brexit. Tom Watson, deputy leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: “This action is an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy. We cannot let this happen.”

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake tweeted: “The mother of all parliaments will not allow him to shut the people’s parliament out of the biggest decision facing our country. His declaration of war will be met with an iron fist.” (AFP, AP)