Queen Elizabeth II has formally approved Boris Johnson's request to temporarily suspend Parliament, a move that will largely prevent lawmakers from pushing through new legislation and ultimately sabotaging the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
In a letter to lawmakers released Wednesday, the prime minister said he "spoke to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end to the current parliamentary session."
He said an integral feature to the legislative program will be the introduction of a bill to leave the European Union and "to secure its passage" before Oct. 31.
Hours later, the queen approved the request, suspending Parliament from mid-September to Oct. 14.
Earlier Wednesday, he confirmed reports that he would hold the Queen's Speech — normally a formality that outlines the legislative agenda — on Oct. 14. Since Parliament is normally suspended before the speech, the decision means opposition lawmakers would be unlikely to have enough time to pass laws blocking the U.K.'s exit from the E.U. on Oct. 31 without a negotiated deal.
"As always my door is open to all colleagues should you wish to discuss this or any other matter," Johnson told lawmakers.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the official Leader of the Opposition, says he's "appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend Parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless no-deal Brexit. This is an outrage and a threat to our democracy.
“That is why Labour has been working across Parliament to hold this reckless government to account, and prevent a disastrous No Deal which Parliament has already ruled out," Corbyn continued. “If Johnson has confidence in his plans he should put them to the people in a general election or public vote.”
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said the move is a "dangerous and unacceptable course of action" that "would be an act of cowardice from Boris Johnson."
John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, called it a "constitutional outrage" — and said he wasn't told in advance of Johnson's decision, according to Sky News.
“Shutting down Parliament would be an offense against the democratic process and the rights of parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives," Bercow said. "Surely at this early stage in his premiership, the prime minister should be seeking to establish rather than undermine his democratic credentials and indeed his commitment to Parliamentary democracy."
Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party, said the move would make a no-confidence motion in Johnson "certain," adding that "a general election is more likely and is seen as a positive move by Brexiteers."
President Trump on Wednesday tweeted it would "be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be “a great one!” Love U.K."
The pound fell to $1.2203 on Wednesday from about $1.2300 the day before — a sign that investors are alarmed by the prospect of Britain falling out of the E.U. on Oct. 31 without a divorce deal.
A no-deal Brexit would see the return of border checks and tariffs on trade between Britain and the rest of the E.U., its largest trading partner.
Johnson became prime minister late last month following the resignation of Theresa May, and has set his primary task as delivering Brexit. In his first speech, he said: “The British people have had enough of waiting and the time has come to act to give strong leadership. My job is to serve you, the people."
He promised to tackle social problems and improve education, saying he will “take personal responsibility," adding “the buck stops here.”
Johnson said that although he wanted to have a deal, he would prepare for a potential no-deal fallout “not because we want that outcome, but because it is only common sense to prepare. Yes, there will be difficulties … but if there is one thing that has really sapped the confidence of business (it) is not the decisions we have taken, it is our refusal to take decisions.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.