A Finnish government minister has resorted to an unusual metaphor to explain the suspension of the British parliament to his countrymen: a ban on saunas.
Timo Harakka likened the events in Westminster to the Finnish government deciding to ban the traditional steam baths – which are a source of national pride in the Nordic country.
He explained that like the hot rooms for the Finns, parliamentarism is “a great source of pride for the British” – citing the defeat of King Charles I during the civil war.
“It is unbelievable that the British Government is going to freeze Parliament,” the social democrat employment minister said in a tweet.
“Parliamentarism is, after all, a great source of pride for the British (Parliament, for example, defeated King Charles I in 1649).
“It’s a little like if they would have banned saunas in Finland.”
The decision in the UK has caused consternation across the continent. Newspapers across Europe suggested the move was autocratic and highlighted the weaknesses of the uncodified British constitution.
Under Boris Johnson’s plan, which was approved by the Queen, the Commons will be suspended until October 14 and not parliamentary business can take place. The move will make it harder for MPs to block a no-deal Brexit. The government claims it is merely standard practice.