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Monday, 24 June 2024
UK House Speaker Bercow blocks ‘meaningful vote’ on BoJo’s Brexit deal
UK House Speaker Bercow blocks ‘meaningful vote’ on BoJo’s Brexit deal

UK Speaker of the House John Bercow has rejected the UK government’s request for a so-called “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal agreed with the EU, in a further blow to PM Boris Johnson.

Bercow ruled that granting such a request would amount to debating the same matter twice. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday he told MPs: “My ruling is that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”

He explained that it was clear that motions before the house are “in substance the same” and that the matter was ostensibly decided 48 hours ago.

Responding to Bercow's decision not to grant a "meaningful vote", the UK prime minister's spokesperson expressed their disappointment at the Speaker "yet again" denying "us a chance to deliver on the will of British people... Public want Brexit done.”

Attention now moves to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which will be published on Monday evening, as the UK government scrambles to tie up a Brexit deal before October 31 – when Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.

Voting on the bill, unamended and amended with a series of propositions, including a customs union and a second EU referendum, is expected to take place on Tuesday in the UK Parliament.

In the House of Commons on Saturday, an amendment proposed by former Tory cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin was passed by UK lawmakers. It ostensibly means that support for Johnson’s deal with the EU will be withheld until formal ratification legislation of the WAB is passed by MPs in the lower house and by lords in the upper house.

It comes after the Court of Session in Edinburgh delayed ruling on whether Johnson acted unlawfully in his request for a Brexit delay from Brussels on Saturday.

Johnson sent European Council President Donald Tusk a total of three documents: an unsigned draft letter asking for a delay; a cover letter explaining that he was forced to do so; and a signed letter emphasizing that any extension would be a “mistake.”