The Dissolution And Calling Of Parliament Bill Act 2022 received royal assent on 24 March 2022. It repeals the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 (the “2011 Act”). It makes express provision to make the prerogative powers to dissolve Parliament and to call a new Parliament exercisable again, as if the 2011 Act had never been enacted. As a result, a future Parliament will be dissolved by the Sovereign, on the request of the Prime Minister, as it was prior to the enactment of the 2011 Act.
What this means for business is that whilst the electorate expected a general election to take place on 2 May 2024, the Government (via the Prime Minister – technically at the request of the Queen) now have the power to call a General Election at a time of their choosing within the life of Parliament.
In politics timing is always key, and few questions are more important than that of the timing of a general election. So, if there were a great success in domestic or foreign policy – or before the impact of any potential negative matters (such as a large spike in inflation), then the UK Prime Minister may call an early election if he felt confident that he will hold, or increase, the current majority.
However, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has pledged to reduce income tax “before the next election”, this may indicate the plan remains to have a general election in 2024.
The material contained in this article is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.
© Miller Rosenfalck LLP, March 2022