The word prorogue has a very specific meaning. The online dictionaries are in broad agreement that it is:
…to discontinue a session of (a parliament or other legislative assembly) without dissolving it…
According to recent political commentary, any attempt by the present cabinet to prorogue parliament in order to stop parliament interfering in its assumed plans to force a no-deal Brexit are reprehensible and unconstitutional. And yet last week, Mr Johnson sent his emissary to the Queen to gain permission to prorogue parliament for four weeks, and thus scupper opposition to the no-deal outcome.
Should we be worried? How will this affect the future of our democratic institutions? Are we really saying that the way to win is to stifle debate? The great and ancient Greeks will be turning in their graves.
On a practical level there is a call to action that we in business cannot avoid: that a no-deal exit from the EU is now on the cards.
Evidence for this is piling up. HMRC is purportedly writing to all businesses that it knows trade with the EU and that have not yet applied for the now notorious EORI number. For new-comers to this acronym, EORI means Economic Operator Registration and Identification. To facilitate continuing trade with EU firms after 31 October you will need this number to smooth progress of your goods across the Channel.
There is precious little time to assess the risk to our businesses if we leave with no-deal in two months’ time and yet we should. Getting match fit for the coming upheaval is making real sense. As you have probably noticed, there is no fence left to sit on.