Monday, March 18, 2019

Theresa May Mugged By Speaker Bercow

Having twice failed miserably to persuade MPs to endorse her agreement to withdraw Britain from the European Union, everyone expected Theresa May to bring the motion back at least once more, possibly even twice if need be. She hoped to win over dissenters until, finally, she would succeed.

Now, with the prospect of a "hard Brexit" just 11 days away, the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, has thrown a wrench in the government's gears. There will be no third, much less a fourth vote on May's motion.

Mr Bercow cited a convention dating back to 1604 that a defeated motion could not be brought back in the same form during the course of a parliamentary session. 
He said the second vote on the prime minister's deal last week was "in order" as it was substantially different to the first, but any further votes must pass the "test" he had set out to be allowed.
Bercow's ruling has sent the government scrambling for workarounds.
How can the government get another vote on Theresa May's deal?
Well, first of all, rules are there to be changed. 
If MPs suspend or change the "standing orders" of Parliament, they could get the Brexit deal back on the agenda. 
Secondly, the government could change the proposition on offer. 
The former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has suggested that something "substantially" different would be to ask Parliament to vote for the deal subject to a referendum. 
Or change the Parliament? 
If MPs can't discuss the same thing in the same session of Parliament, why not simply start a new one?
With the clock running down, May could really use an extension of Britain's article 50 deadline - if the membership of the EU agrees. 


Anonymous said...

When your opponents have you by the tail,
When your loyal friends act like they're Rees-Mogg,
When the citizens cannot see you fail,
Do what the Canadians do, prorogue!


The Mound of Sound said...

That could be her only option, Cap. Did you read my earlier post, "The Control Freak Who Lost Control"?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think the basic premise is correct - May likes to be in control but sees the party slipping away from her. Everyone's happy tho snipe at her and nobody wants to be in the hot seat when Brexit blows up in their faces.


Tal Hartsfeld said...

Shouldn't the sign state
"BREXIT: NOT GOING WELL IS IT?"? (A question mark instead of exclamation point)