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Date TimeAugust 30, 2019
VoicePrime minister Boris Johnson’s success in suspending parliament has prompted fury, protests and a petition that has already topped a million signatures.
The View Of Westminster From Outside The London Bubble: Boris Johnson Played A Blinder
The move to ‘prorogue’ – to use the official term – parliament has been heavily criticised by those who believe Johnson is trying to prevent MPs from blocking a no-deal Brexit. However, the prime minister has denied this, saying it’s about prioritising his domestic agenda.
On Wednesday night thousands of people gathered to protest outside parliament. But what is the feeling outside the Westminster frenzy? Do people care? Is outrage really gripping the nation?
HuffPost UK spoke to people in Preston, where 53% of voters backed Leave. What we found were mixed opinions on the latest political chaos engulfing the country.Anthony Murphy, a retired technician, admits he couldn’t stop a smile from spreading across his face when he heard about Johnson’s suspension of parliament.
“Boris Johnson pulled a fast one. He played a brilliant blinder,” says the 69-year-old.
“I thought it was brilliant. He is much cleverer than Theresa May was.
“Parliament being suspended is a great move by Boris and it is keeping everyone on their toes.”
Murphy told HuffPost UK he voted Leave as he felt “we were being robbed blind by Brussels” – but he is fed up of MPs going back on their word. “I think Boris will be good for the country if people give him a chance.
“I don’t mind if there is a no-deal Brexit – we voted to get out, so as long as we get out, I don’t care.”
He has seen the protests in Westminster, but is unimpressed, saying they are ”all about Remainers and MPs throwing tantrums because they didn’t get their own way”.
However, Murphy says he is so disillusioned by the political horsetrading since the Brexit vote it has made him adamant never to vote again.
“I am disillusioned with the whole thing and will never vote again for anybody because I don’t trust them. They don’t stick with what they say.”Retired pub landlady Gillian Thompson says she likes Boris Johnson and feels he is a strong leader and exactly what the country needs after Theresa May.
She voted to Leave and says she thinks Johnson suspending parliament is “a means to an end to get everything sorted”. 
“I like the fact that Boris isn’t smarmy, and says what he thinks and does it.
“Some of the MPs have behaved in a disgusting fashion and are not doing what the people want.
“I voted to Leave as I was sick of the EU telling us what to do and we never got the choice of going in.
“I think many of the MPs fighting to Remain are doing so for their own business interests and for selfish reasons.”As one of the generation who wasn’t old enough to vote in the referendum, 19-year-old student Taylor Gordon describes the suspension of parliament as a “real mess”.
“They should have had a plan and it should never have got to this.
“I think the voting was uninformed on both sides and no one really knew what they were doing or the real implication.
“As a young person, I am worried about the prices of everything, and the trading.
“The UK does not really own or manufacture anything and everything is outsourced. So I am worried about how that will affect life in the UK.”
Originally from London and now living in the North, Gordon says Londoners are closer to the issue so it often feels like the issues surrounding Brexit affect them harder.
However, she says: “They would be surprised at the strong opinions Northerners have. I have spoken to people who are strongly on the Remain side and others who desperately want to Leave, and some who just want Brexit off the news as they are sick of it.”
She says she has mixed views about the protests.
“On the one hand, the UK voted to Leave so they should stick with it. But on the other hand, if people feel justified because no one voted for a no-deal Brexit, they should have the right to protest.”Academic Raheem Saddique, 24, voted Remain, and is firmly against the idea of parliament being suspended. “It is a suppression of debate on both sides but at this moment in time, debate is highly needed.
“The protests that are taking place are all about people making their voices heard and I can fully understand their concerns.
“A no-deal Brexit is going to be detrimental and I don’t think anyone foresaw these issues.”
For Juliet Ibbotson, a librarian, the situation is causing real concern. “I am really anxious about a no-deal Brexit.” she says.
“I voted Remain, but I was up for a deal-Brexit if that was the democratic decision.
“I think they are messing with our future. I could cry, I really could, I am so pissed off.
“I totally agree with all the protests going on in London as the cancelling of parliament is not democratic and cannot be justified.”While George Thomson, 69 and a retired civil servant, voted to Leave, he is less sure about a no-deal Brexit. 
“If Boris Johnson is going to do a no-deal Brexit, why was that not done three years ago and saved the country a fortune? 
“All the MPs who are trying to oppose it, I consider to be treasoners [sic].
“I think there are a lot of tantrums being thrown by Remainers and they are clutching to every reason not to leave.”
He has also seen footage of the protests in Westminster on Wednesday evening. “Everyone has the right to protest, but I do not think people are correct in going against the will of the majority of the public,” he says.
He is happy to accept the government’s own explanation that parliament was suspended in order to allow them to focus on their new agenda in a Queen’s Speech – a regular event where the monarch reads a speech written by the government about the laws they want to pass.
“The timing is unfortunate but I don’t consider there to be anything sinister behind it.
“If they all got on and did their jobs instead of arguing about it, it would be better for everyone.”
Thomson feels there is a stronger reaction to Brexit in London, but he believes in the North there is a mix of views.
“I think in London, their population may cloud their vision as there’s more businesses involved and possibly more Europeans settled within the UK who are worried about their future.” Pausing to chat to us during a heritage trail that they are doing together through the city, retired teachers Ann Chantler and Suzanne Turner tell HuffPost UK they are strong Remainers who are shocked and disconcerted at the latest events.
Chantler, 69, said: “I am a very angry Remainer and I am appalled, and feel the latest thing Boris Johnson has done is something we can’t overcome.
“Boris Johnson has been very clever and manipulative. I think he has more brains than people give him credit for as he hides it under his bluster. But what he is doing is dreadful.
“It is totally undemocratic and has been done for selfish reasons.”
She says she would join the protests in London if she were able, believing “they are totally justified. There is very little we can do now and protests are the only way people can make their voices heard”.
Her friend Turner, 73, agrees. She says her biggest fears are for the younger generation and the legacy being left to her grandchildren.
“I am a very firm Remainer as I am old enough to remember the aftermath of World War II, and we realised it is better to be together.
“I find it infuriating when people refer to our British ‘noble past’ as it was horrendous and we treated other countries and their resources in an appalling way.
“We are going to end up as a tiny country which is insignificant in world terms and we will get trodden on by Donald Trump and America and everyone else.
“I feel sorry for the younger generation. Our grandchildren have got Brexit and climate change to deal with – and that’s our legacy to them.
“It makes me feel very sad, angry and fed-up.” Civil servant Peter Shirley, 55, describes the suspension of parliament as “ridiculous” and says what Johnson has done is “unacceptable” and “disingenuous”.
“I am sympathetic to the fact that people did vote to go – although I myself did not. But I do not think this is the way to go about fixing it.
“Parliament should be allowed to make decisions and should not be suspended.”
He says that in the North, “we are a bit more remote from it all and regard it as a London-centric problem”.
“My honest opinion is that this whole thing is already divisive and this will make things even worse.”Engineer Isaac Kusaloka says he is embarrassed by the government’s antics. Although he voted to stay, he now just wants to see a firm decision either way.
“Everything is a mess and no one has a clue what is happening,” said the 27-year-old. “The Brexit saga doesn’t make any sense and it seems even those who voted to Leave are changing their minds.
“It has all dragged on for far too long. I don’t really see how suspending parliament is going to make a difference as they have been talking about it for so long and still not sorted it.
“I feel embarrassed for the country as we look clueless and as if we have a government that doesn’t know what it is doing.
“I just want them to make a decision. Stay or Leave: I don’t care anymore. Just pick a decision, make some rules and stick by it.”Related... How PM's 'Suspend Parliament' Plan Became The First Shot Fired In The No-Deal Brexit War Queen Approves Boris Johnson's Plan To Suspend Parliament ‘Brexit Is Nice, I Support Brexit. It’s Cool’: The View From Rochdale And Oldham

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