Posts Tagged ‘House of Commons’

Constitutional chaos after third vote on Brexit deal blocked

Prime minister likely to have to request long article 50 extension after Bercow intervenes

Theresa May’s government has been plunged into constitutional chaos after the Speaker blocked the prime minister from asking MPs to vote on her Brexit deal for a third time unless it had fundamentally changed.

With 11 days to go until Britain is due to leave the EU, May was forced to pull her plans for another meaningful vote because John Bercow said she could not ask MPs to pass the same deal, after they rejected it twice by huge margins. EU officials, meanwhile, were considering offering her a new date for a delayed Brexit to resolve the crisis.

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Ziggy Bercow and the MPs from Mars rock old hit Erskine May | John Crace

The Speaker gets turned up to 11 for a Brexit deep cut from the Commons’ back catalogue

Days like these, Theresa May must wonder why she bothers. A question many of us have been asking for a couple of years. If she wasn’t in enough trouble with the hardliners of the European Research Group, Conservative remainers and a Democratic Unionist party hot on the scent of more cash, she now had her namesake on her back: Erskine May. Or at least the Speaker’s interpretation of the parliamentary rulebook.

Shortly after 3.30pm on what had hitherto promised to be a quiet afternoon in the Commons, John Bercow decided to give the government his own kicking. Like most things the Speaker does, it was delivered with much theatricality and self-importance but was none the less deadly for it. Having previously ruled that some precedents were made to be broken, he had concluded that the precedent of not allowing a government to put the same – or substantially the same – motion to the house as one that had previously been rejected should be upheld. So if the prime minister wanted to put her Brexit deal to a third meaningful vote, she was going to have to come up with something radically different.

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The Guardian view on Speaker Bercow: on parliament’s side | Editorial

The Commons equivalent of the double jeopardy rule is rightly invoked to impose sense on a government elevating a plebiscitary politics over a parliamentary one

This country has been in a political and constitutional quandary since the results of the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Today the crisis deepened in a dramatic and decisive way. The Commons Speaker John Bercow said he was minded not to allow the government to bring back its Brexit deal for a third meaningful vote because it breaks parliamentary convention. Mr Bercow has history – going back all the way to 1604 – on his side. Under the “same question, same session” rule MPs cannot be asked to decide a question they have already decided in the same session. It’s the parliamentary equivalent of the double jeopardy rule. “Decisions of the house matter. They have weight,” he said.

Theresa May has tried to use votes in parliament to grind her opponents down until they accepted the only Brexit that would work was hers. This strategy involved ignoring decisions of parliament. MPs voted to take the date of the UK leaving the European Union of 29 March 2019 out of law – but ministers did nothing. Parliament voted against a no-deal Brexit – but it remained as the default option in statute. It is time to stop the prime minister playing a game of chicken with the future of the country. The speaker, representing the collective voice of parliament, has a duty to uphold the legislature’s supremacy over the government and the judiciary. Mr Bercow is right to remind the government that it cannot go on ignoring the will of the House.

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What has John Bercow done now?

Everything you need to know about decision by Commons Speaker to stop MPs voting for third time on PM’s deal

He has told the government that it cannot send Theresa May’s Brexit deal back for a third vote in parliament immediately unless substantial changes are made to it.

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Brexit: John Bercow rules out third meaningful vote on same deal

Speaker says PM cannot bring back deal to parliament without substantial changes

The House of Commons Speaker has thwarted any attempt by Theresa May to bring back a third meaningful vote to parliament, unless there has been substantial change to the Brexit deal.

In a shock move likely to infuriate the prime minister, John Bercow suggested he believed such a fundamental change would involve a renegotiation at EU level, rather than clarification of the legal advice written by the attorney general, something that had been suggested this week.

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John Bercow has seized his Brexit moment – and now all bets are off | Rafael Behr

The Speaker’s ruling out of a third meaningful vote on the same deal has blasted the prime minister’s plans off course

It has been clear for some time now that John Bercow sees himself as a leading protagonist in our political drama, not some bystander. Even before Theresa May’s deal was bogged down in parliamentary trench warfare, the Commons Speaker had styled himself as a warrior on behalf of the legislature, defending it against arrogant incursions by government. But kicking May’s withdrawal agreement out of the chamber altogether is a ferocious escalation.

The premise is procedural and venerable. Erskine May, the vast tome in which are accumulated the various rules and conventions governing parliamentary business, decrees that the same motion cannot be debated twice in one parliamentary session. And since May’s Brexit deal was rejected last week, Bercow believes that the prime minister cannot simply come back tomorrow – as had been planned – and ask MPs to reconsider. What was billed as a third “meaningful vote” would need some substantial revision of content to qualify as truly meaningful in the Speaker’s eyes.

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Another Brexit crunch week: what could happen?

With MPs due to vote on May’s deal a third time, here are four scenarios that might play out

After Theresa May’s deal was voted down for a second time last Tuesday, and with just days to go before EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss a potential article 50 extension, this looks like yet another crunch week for Brexit. What could happen?

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