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19 Mar, 2019 15:09

‘Brexit Destroyer’: UK media hammer Speaker Bercow for blocking third vote

‘Brexit Destroyer’: UK media hammer Speaker Bercow for blocking third vote

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow received a mauling in the right-wing press on Tuesday, after suggesting he would block any government attempts to table the same Brexit deal for MPs to vote on, for a third time.

A series of headlines published by a number of Brexit-supporting newspapers delivered a scathing verdict on Bercow’s intervention. They ranged from ‘The Brexit Destroyer’ in the Daily Express to ‘B*ll*cks to Bercow in the Sun and ‘Smirk that says: Brexit be damned’ in the Daily Mail, which accused him of “grandstanding.”

Bercow delivered the blow to PM Theresa May and her chances of getting her deal through parliament in a third meaningful vote, in a surprise statement to British lawmakers in the Commons on Monday.

Citing a convention that dates back to 1604 in Erskine May, the parliamentary procedure and constitutional conventions rulebook, Bercow told MPs that the same motion “in substance... may not be brought forward again during that same session.”

Bercow insists that bringing the same deal, or substantially the same deal, back to the Commons would not be “proper.”

May’s deal, agreed with Brussels, has been heavily rejected twice in the UK parliament, by 230 and 149 votes, respectively. The UK government were tipped to bring the deal back to parliament before the PM goes to the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, but Bercow’s intervention looks to have put a spanner in the works.

READ MORE: UK govt cannot hold new parliament vote on same Brexit deal – speaker

The prime minister’s spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that May will write to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, requesting an article 50 extension past Brexit deadline day, March 29. They did not disclose the purpose and length of the delay.

It comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she will fight for an orderly Brexit right up until Britain’s planned departure from the EU. At a conference in Berlin, Merkel admitted that she wasn’t on top of 17th century British parliamentary procedures, but that she will fight to the “last hour” to secure a deal with the UK.

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