May’s Brexit deal in chaos as Speaker sparks ‘constitutional crisis’

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans have been thrown into additional turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament dominated that she couldn’t put her divorce deal to a brand new vote except it was re-submitted in essentially totally different type.

In feedback that blindsided May’s workplace, Speaker John Bercow stated the federal government couldn’t convey ahead proposals for a vote in parliament that have been considerably the identical as had been defeated twice earlier than, in January and final week.

Brexiteers searching for a whole break from the European Union noticed a “no-deal” exit as now extra possible, however the authorities made clear it will search to place off Brexit past the March 29 departure date, if the EU approves.

One of the federal government’s senior legislation officers, Solicitor General Robert Buckland, stated: “We’re in a major constitutional crisis here.”

He informed the BBC one strategy to convey May’s deal again for a vote in the House of Commons may very well be prorogation – ending the parliament session prematurely and beginning a brand new one.

According to precedents stretching again to 1604, parliamentary guidelines say that considerably related proposals can’t be voted on in the House of Commons greater than as soon as throughout the identical session of parliament.

Bercow stated his ruling shouldn’t be thought-about his final phrase and the federal government may convey ahead a brand new proposition that was not the identical as these already voted upon.

The pound fell to its day’s low in opposition to the euro and the greenback on Bercow’s assertion, earlier than recovering when the federal government stated negotiations on a deal have been persevering with with lawmakers from Northern Ireland, who prop up May’s minority authorities and have opposed her withdrawal accord to date.

“This is my conclusion: if the government wishes to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same, nor substantially the same, as that disposed of by the House on the 12th of March, this would be entirely in order,” Bercow stated.

“What the government cannot legitimately do is to resubmit to the House the same proposition or substantially the same proposition as that of last week which was rejected by 149 votes.”

The ruling was welcomed by eurosceptic lawmakers in May’s Conservative Party as a result of it appeared to extend the probability of Britain leaving the EU with no deal.

May’s Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU final 12 months was seen by Brexiteers as leaving Britain too carefully aligned to the EU whereas depriving it of voting rights in the bloc.

“May I say how delighted I am that you have decided to follow precedent, which is something I am greatly in favor of,” stated Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group of eurosceptics in parliament.

However Kwasi Kwarteng, a Brexit minister, informed parliament the federal government meant to hunt an extension to the Brexit departure deadline, which he anticipated the EU to resolve on at a summit this week.

The head of the 2016 referendum marketing campaign to go away the EU, Matthew Elliott, stated he anticipated lawmakers to “see sense” and cross May’s deal by March 29.


Bercow’s pronouncement appeared to take May’s Downing Street workplace without warning.

May’s spokesman stated her workplace had not been warned the assertion was coming. Nor may Downing Street say something about plans for a brand new Brexit vote or when it could be held.

Speaker of the House John Bercow speaks in Parliament, in London, Britain, March 18, 2019, in this display screen seize taken from video. Reuters TV through REUTERS

“Now the government will have to come back with substantial changes (which is literally impossible) in relation to the deal, otherwise it means a prolonged Brexit delay,” stated Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at retail dealer Think Forex.

EU leaders have dominated out renegotiating the exit deal.

“The chances of the UK crashing out of the EU have increased once again because the EU needs a clear plan and a strategy before they grant an extension,” Aslam added.

Earlier on Monday it had appeared that May was profitable assist for her deal from erstwhile opponents however Bercow’s resolution will go away the prime minister scrambling for choices.

Asked by a lawmaker whether or not additional modifications to the deal can be wanted, Bercow stated, “in all likelihood, the answer … is yes”, including change in opinion wouldn’t represent a change in the deal on supply.

“Fundamentally, for something to be different, it has to be by definition, fundamentally different. Not different in terms of wording, but difference in terms of substance and this is in the context of a negotiation with others outside the United Kingdom,” Bercow stated.

Britain is because of go away the EU by default in 11 days. But parliament voted final week for a delay and May is anticipated to hunt an extension to that deadline when she meets EU leaders at their summit.

To compound her issues, May appeared unlikely to achieve settlement this week on her Brexit plans with the Democratic Unionists, the small Northern Irish get together whose assist is significant if she is to get her EU departure deal by means of parliament.

May’s spokesman stated talks have been persevering with with the DUP.

May had earlier warned lawmakers that except they approve her Brexit divorce blueprint, Britain’s exit from the EU may face a protracted delay which many Brexiteers concern would imply Britain could by no means go away.

Slideshow (6 Images)

After two-and-a-half years of negotiations with the EU, the result stays unsure – with choices together with a protracted postponement, exiting with May’s deal, a economically disruptive exit with no deal, and even one other EU membership referendum.

May’s blueprint, an try and retain shut buying and selling and safety ties with the EU whereas leaving the bloc’s formal political buildings, was defeated by 230 votes in parliament on Jan. 15 and by 149 votes on March 12.

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Giles Elgood, Editing by William Maclean and Janet Lawrence

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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