House of Commons Speaker John Bercow was today accused of sabotaging Theresa May’s Brexit deal after telling MPs she cannot force them to vote on it again without changing it ‘substantially’.
The Commons Speaker cited a 400-year-old Commons precedent to inflict an extraordinary blow to Mrs May’s hopes of getting her EU divorce through Parliament.
Mrs May had planned to go to Brussels on Thursday and apply for a ‘long’ Brexit delay unless MPs show they are ready to back her deal by Tuesday night.
Now Mr Bercow used a precedent from April 1604 – used 12 times in the Commons since then – to warn the PM that she must significantly change her deal if she wants to force another vote on it before March 29.
It means that if Mrs May wants to force MPs into another vote after the EU Brussels summit she will have to ask Mr Bercow who would have the final say on if it goes ahead.
Unless Mrs May can make an acceptable change, the Speaker’s intervention means the PM’s deal will be killed off with No Deal or a long-term delay to Brexit the most likely options.
This video has Speaker Bercow’s full statement.