The month-long suspension of the British parliament ordered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in an apparent bid to stop MPs blocking his Brexit strategy, will begin at close of business tonight.

The prime minister's official spokesman said that while the government would obey the law, Mr Johnson would not be requesting another extension of the Article 50 EU withdrawal process.

"Parliament will be prorogued at close of business today," the spokesman said, using the parliamentary term for the suspension.

He added it would take place regardless of the outcome of a government-led vote on holding a snap election next month.

"If MPs want to resolve this there is an easy way - vote for an election today and let the public decide."

It comes as legislation designed to stop the government forcing through a no-deal Brexit became law this afternoon after receiving royal assent by Queen Elizabeth.

Shortly afterwards, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced that he will stand down as an MP at the next general election.

MPs are due to vote again tonight on whether to hold a general election.

At close of business, MPs are due to be thrown out of parliament and face a nervous wait to see whether Mr Johnson will obey the legislation.

The Conservative Party leader met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin this morning.

Referring to the prorogation of parliament, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I think it is disgraceful. Parliament should be sitting.

"Parliament should be holding the government to account. And the Prime Minister appears to want to run away from questions."

Pressed on whether he was prepared to take Mr Johnson to court if he refused to obey the law aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit, Mr Corbyn said: "Personally, no.

"Because I'm an elected parliamentarian, my job is to represent my constituency and to lead my party.

"And I think it is extraordinary that we have a prime minister who has lost every vote he has put to parliament in the few days it has been back that now goes around the country saying that he is now going to defy parliament.

"Democracy requires that elected governments are responsible to parliament itself. And the prime minister seems not to be prepared to do that."


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Yesterday, Mr Johnson bunkered down in Chevening, the Foreign Secretary's country residence, with his closest aides, understood to have included chief strategist Dominic Cummings, where he is understood to have war-gamed how the crucial week ahead could pan out.

With Mr Johnson being warned by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland about the "importance of the rule of law" following hints that Mr Johnson could be tempted to break the law to deliver Brexit by Halloween, Downing Street looked to double down on pushing for an election.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme that any blame for the failure to leave the EU by 31 October could be laid at the feet of Labour and the Liberal Democrats and others opposing no-deal.

"What I'm going to do is redouble our efforts to get a deal but ... if we can't do that, it is very clear that the blockage is Jeremy Corbyn, the Liberal Democrats and others who are not willing to respect the referendum," he said.

Mr Raab said it was "ridiculous" to suggest Mr Johnson would break the law but hinted that there was no guarantee, should Mr Johnson oblige and write to the EU requesting an extension to the talks, that it would be granted.

He called the Benn Bill "lousy", before adding: "The key thing with an extension is it requires agreement on both sides and it is very difficult for the legislation to micro-manage in detail how that conversation will go."

France has suggested it could veto lengthening the talks, with French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, telling reporters: "We are not going to do this (extend the deadline) every three months."

The Daily Telegraph, formerly one of Mr Johnson's employers, quoted a Downing Street source who said today would be the final opportunity for MPs to stop no-deal.

To call a general election early using the Fixed-Term Parliament Act (FTPA), two-thirds of MPs would have to agree.

The No 10 source reportedly said: "(Monday) is the last chance for Corbyn to be prime minister and negotiate his delay at Brussels (at the European Council summit) on 17-18 October.

"If he opposes the people having their say in an election on 15 October, then MPs should realise they may not be able to stop no-deal.

"The MPs will be sent home this week and have no further chance to shape negotiations on 17 October."

Amber Rudd's assessment that more effort is being put into no-deal preparations than the divorce negotiations with Brussels will be tested with a host of ministers and senior civil servants facing questioning on the UK's readiness to leave without an agreement in place.

Ms Rudd made the claim after sensationally quitting the cabinet and the Tory Party on Saturday.

She has been replaced as Work and Pensions Secretary by Therese Coffey, a loyalist who was promoted from her role as environment minister.

Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill, the government's most senior civil servant, will all appear before Commons committees.

Number 10 was boosted by confirmation from Nicky Morgan, Culture Secretary and a former Remain campaigner, that she will stay in Cabinet.

Writing in the Daily Mail, she called for "more transparency" on the efforts being put into securing a deal.

MPs will also debate a petition backed by 1.7 million people demanding prorogation must not be prorogued unless Article 50 is extended.