MPs to resume longest parliamentary session in UK history

When MPs return to the House of Commons on Tuesday, it will be to resume what is now the longest session of Parliament in the history of the United Kingdom.

The current session formally began on June 21 2017 with the State Opening, including the Queen’s Speech.

A total of 713 days have since passed, making this the longest continuous parliamentary session since the UK was established by the Acts of Union in 1800.

The previous record-holder was the session of 2010-12, which lasted 707 calendar days from the State Opening on May 25 2010 to prorogation on May 1 2012.

Parliament is typically prorogued once a year, followed shortly afterwards by another State Opening and Queen’s Speech.

But in 2017, the Government announced the current session was to last two years to pass the key legislation needed to allow the UK’s departure from the European Union.

With the House of Commons still deadlocked over Brexit, however, there is no sign the Government intends to bring the session to an end.

Whoever takes over from Theresa May as Prime Minister could decide to prorogue Parliament before the summer recess – or let proceedings run on even longer, lasting into September or even until the end of the year.

According to Press Association analysis, the 10 longest parliamentary sessions by calendar days have all occurred within the last 70 years.

In joint third place are the sessions that ran from April 1966 to October 1967 and from May 1997 to November 1998 – both of which followed Labour election victories and lasted 554 days.

The current session has already broken the record for the most sitting days – the number of days of debate in the House of Commons.

This milestone was passed on May 7 2019, when it became the longest session by sitting days since the English Civil War of 1642-51, according to research by the House of Commons Library.

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