Image caption Stephen Crabb: "We can't carry on kicking the Brexit can down the road any longer"

Boris Johnson is using "flexibility" in the UK constitution to create a "moment of decision" on Brexit for MPs, ex-Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has said.

Mr Crabb defended the prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament, after an angry backlash against the move.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP told BBC Wales Mr Johnson was trying to "stop us going round in circles" on Brexit.

Mr Johnson's move prompted protests, a legal challenge and a petition with more than a million signatures.

Meanwhile, anti-Brexit Conservative Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb has said he will join "many" Tory MPs in voting against the government when Parliament returns after the summer recess next week.

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Parliament is normally suspended - or prorogued - for a short period before a new parliamentary session begins, during which time no debates and votes are held.

The five-week suspension in September and October would see Parliament expected to close for 23 working days.

Mr Crabb's successor, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns also welcomed the decision, saying: "The prime minister has been clear that the UK government will do all it can to ensure we leave the EU with a deal."

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg called the plan "constitutional and proper" and cabinet minister Michael Gove insisted the suspension was "certainly not" intended to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Welsh Assembly members are to be recalled from their summer break next Thursday to discuss the matter.

AMs will debate a joint Labour-Plaid Cymru motion calling on MPs to "use any legal and constitutional means available to prevent the UK government from pursuing a no deal outcome to the Brexit negotiations and to ensure that the decision on whether or not to leave the EU in the light of current circumstances should go back to the electorate in a referendum".

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Media captionBoris Johnson: "We're not going to wait until October 31st"

Mr Crabb said MPs opposing Brexit "have been trying to use the flexibilities in the constitution over the last two years to try to stop Brexit".

"This is the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, now using the flexibility in the constitution to try to create this moment of decision this autumn," he told BBC Wales.

"Now he and I have disagreed on some aspects of Brexit, but where I do absolutely agree with him is we can't carry on kicking the Brexit can down the road any longer.

"We need to get this resolved by the 31st of October and I actually think the decision he's taken will help create that serious moment of decision this autumn."

Mr Crabb denied Mr Johnson was undermining Parliament.

"We lose around four days of time in Parliament for debating, and we've spent days and hours debating Brexit," he said.

"There's always time for debate, and I've participated in many of those debates myself, but there also needs to be a time for decision and Boris Johnson wants to create a moment of decision this autumn where we cannot carry on kicking the can down the road.

"So yes, I do support him in trying to force the issue, trying to get Parliament to make a decision and to stop us going round in circles."

Image caption Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts: "Mr Johnson doesn't care about fair play"

Mr Crabb said the prime minister has assured him "he wants to get a deal, that's his first choice".

"I spent time with Boris Johnson on Tuesday explaining to him my concerns and issues with Brexit as it affects Pembrokeshire and Wales and Boris Johnson told me again to my face that he is determined to get a deal," Mr Crabb said.

"But he's also not willing to carry on going round in circles, kicking the can down the road and avoiding a resolution of the Brexit issue."

Earlier, Montgomeryshire Conservative MP Glyn Davies said there would still be time for MPs to make a law opposing the UK government's Brexit position.

He said a bill was put through the House of Commons in March "in a single day" so there was still "ample time" for such legislation.

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, accused Mr Johnson of behaving "much like a bully to do the best that he can to get his own way".

The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP said: "It's not the constitutional question that worries me, it is the question for our democracy and our politics because by endeavouring to suspend Parliament at this time, what he is doing is giving the only way that democracy operates from day to day in the United Kingdom, he is stopping that being discussed.

"He is doing this looking to put the blame on others for No Deal, because it's not as though he is negotiating with Europe in any good faith, and he knows he hasn't got the time to bring a new deal back to parliament.

"He doesn't care about keeping to his word, and he doesn't care about fair play."

Mr Bebb indicated last month he would be willing to vote to bring down the government to stop the UK leaving the EU without an agreement with the bloc.

He urged fellow Tory MPs to "stand up for democracy, to put the national interest first and to stand firm against an undemocratic No Deal".

"It has never been more essential for Conservatives to take a stand even if that means we have to make it in opposition to the party's leader," he said.

"I will be using my vote in Parliament next week to do that.

"I know many of my Conservative colleagues, many of whom have never before defied the official whip of the party leadership, will be doing the same."