Protesters gather outside the Houses of Parliament
  • Over a million people sign petition protesting against UK prime minister Boris Johnson's plan to close parliament in order to force through Brexit.
  • There were large protests in London and across the UK in the hours after the queen authorised Johnson's request.
  • Protesters promise campaign of "civil disobedience" designed to dissuade Johnson from following through on his plan.
  • Johnson's decision triggered outrage across the political spectrum.
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.


Over a million people have signed a petition against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament , in order to force through Brexit, as large protests broke out across the country.

The queen on Wednesday agreed to Johnson's request to suspend parliament for almost a month from mid-September, as part of a reported plan to prevent members of parliament from passing legislation designed to prevent Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31.

The move triggered outrage across the political spectrum with the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow describing it as a "constitutional outrage," and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon likening it to the actions of a "dictatorship."

Read more: The Queen agrees to Boris Johnson's request to shut down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit

Read more: Boris Johnson's plan to temporarily suspend democracy in the UK to force through Brexit is a trap designed to keep him in power

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was on Wednesday evening also reportedly considering resigning on Thursday.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets surrounding Johnson's Downing Street residence.
Within hours of Johnson's decision, thousands of people gathered to protest outside Parliament and Johnson's Downing Street residence. Similar protests also took place in other towns and cities across the UK.

There were chants of "if you shut down our parliament, we shut down your streets," in Trafalgar Square as protesters held placards and banners with messages including "Defend democracy," "Stop the coup" and "It's about to go Hong Kong."

A petition set up to oppose the suspension of parliament quickly gathered over a million signatures.

The protests were organised by the activist and journalist Owen Jones.
The protests appeared to have broader support among the UK population with a snap opinion poll conducted by the pollsters YouGov finding that 47% of UK voters describe Johnson's move as "unacceptable" with just 27% describing it is acceptable.

Johnson's move appears to have mobilised opponents of a no-deal Brexit in parliament with the former Conservative Chancellor on Wednesday insisting that members of parliament would act next week before the suspension of parliament comes into effect.

"A number of my colleagues would have preferred to wait ... and move in late September," Hammond said.

"That will now not be possible. We will have to try to do something when parliament returns next week."

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