I came across this list of recess dates for House of Commons and I was wondering why is there so much fuss about the currently proposed one when it seems to be planned in generally the same time frame as the last year.

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    This is not about a recess (within a session), it’s about prorogation (starting a new session). – chirlu Aug 28 '19 at 18:37
  • Well, last year we weren't frantically trying to negotiate a last-minute Brexit deal. Something we can't do if Parliament isn't in session. I dunno about "bad faith" as one close-voter has suggested, but this certainly smacks of "no research effort" to me. – F1Krazy Aug 28 '19 at 19:19
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    @chirlu Why don't you expand that into an answer for those of us who know nothing about how the House of Commons works? – Joe Aug 28 '19 at 19:26
  • @Joe - Whatever is done before the prorogation is lost in the new session unless it has become law. Any bills or activities carried out in the old session will die and the supporters of those bills will have to start from scratch. Next week is dead time unless a law can be passed before the prorogation, which is very unlikely. Proroging until the 14th of October gives 13 days to get a law through, except the first five will be taken up by debates about the Queen's speech, so only eight, including Brexit Day. It's impossible to get a law through both houses, committees etc. in such a short time – Dave Gremlin Aug 30 '19 at 21:39

There are a few points to consider here.

Firstly, there is the matter of who controls when Parliament is not sitting. When Parliament goes into recess, it is they who are deciding not to sit. When Parliament is prorogued, it is Her Majesty deciding Parliament will not sit.

On a technical note, the recess to which you're referring had not been formally agreed by the House yet. There was consideration by some MPs of cancelling the recess to allow more Parliamentary time, but that decision is moot now.

While the prorogation itself will take a few days off the Parliamentary diary (probably four days, not counting what would have been the anticipated recess), there are also a number of days after Parliament returns that will be taken up by certain start-of-session formality (largely surrounding the Queen's Speech and the debate that follows it). Further, any legislation that is in progress at the time Parliament is prorogued dies, meaning that anything MPs start next week and don't finish will have to start all over again in October.

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    Only having a week of sitting before the proroguation also makes a vote of no confidence more risky, from the point of view of those who might want Johnson out but want an alternative government in rather than a fresh election. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act gives two weeks for an alternative government to receive the confidence of the House of Commons, but if Parliament is prorogued halfway through that period then that cuts down the time for the opposition to hash out some compromise. – owjburnham Aug 29 '19 at 8:33

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