NEWS
22/10/2019 8:54 AM AEDT | Updated 22/10/2019 8:59 AM AEDT

John Bercow Blocks Boris Johnson From Holding Brexit Deal Vote

Speaker announces move by UK prime minister not allowed by parliamentary rules.

John Bercow has thwarted Boris Johnson’s attempt to hold a meaningful vote on his Brexit deal.

The UK prime minister had hoped to ask MPs to vote on Monday on the agreement he struck with the EU last week.

But the Speaker ruled it would break Commons rules for the government to ask MPs to vote on the same proposal twice.

In March, Bercow blocked Theresa May’s bid to hold a third meaningful vote on her deal for the same reason.

The Commons considered Johnson’s deal at the emergency sitting on Saturday and decided to amend it to force the PM to request an extension to Article 50.

EU leaders have yet to respond to the request but are expected to grant it.

Bercow said the motion debated on Saturday was “in substance the same” as the one the government wanted MPs to vote on today.

Downing Street has said the government is “disappointed” with the Speaker’s ruling not to allow a fresh vote.

MPs decided to withhold formal approval for Johnson’s deal until the legislation needed to write it into British law has passed.

The focus will now move to the government bringing its Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) before MPs, with a vote on its second reading due on Tuesday.

Johnson will be able to keep his promise of taking the UK out of the EU by October 31 if he can pass the WAB by then.

But he faces another hurdle as MPs could choose to block the government from fast-tracking the bill.

Opposition MPs are also expected to try and amend the legislation, including attempts to attach provision that Johnson’s deal be subjected to a referendum and that the UK remain in a customs union with the EU.