The UK Parliament’s longest continuous session came to an end on 8 October 2019. It began on 21 June 2017, lasting a total of 839 days.
The next session will start on 14 October and will be marked by the State Opening of Parliament.
What is prorogation?
It is simply the official name given to the period of time between the end of one parliamentary session and the opening of the next.
Prorogation is marked by an announcement in the House of Lords. The announcement outlines legislation passed during the session. Once it has been read in the Lords, the Speaker reads the same statement in the Commons.
What happens during prorogation?
During prorogation preparations will be made at the Palace of Westminster ahead of the State Opening ceremony. This includes setting up extra seating and removing security barriers at the front of the Palace. The Robing Room, the room the Queen uses to prepare before delivering the Speech, will be prepared for use.
Essentially all parliamentary business will come to an end. All motions, including early day motions will fall. This means any questions that are unanswered will be lost at the end of the session. If it is agreed, ongoing Public Bills can be carried over from one parliamentary session to the next. We have seen this happen with the Domestic Abuse Bill, which the House of Commons has agreed to carry over into the next parliamentary session.
The State Opening ceremony will mark the formal start of a new parliamentary session and take place in the House of Lords chamber. The Queen’s Speech will outline the agenda of the government for the new session.
The Queen’s Speech will then be scrutinised by Parliament who will have the chance to vote on whether they accept it or not.