Another Brexit vote not ruled out
Published: 08:59 PM, 19 March 2019
The government says it will try to get Theresa May's Brexit deal through the Commons, despite Speaker John Bercow throwing the process into doubt.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay suggested a vote could take place next week - after Mrs May has sought a delay to Brexit from the EU.
Mr Bercow has ruled that the PM can not bring her deal back for a third vote without "substantial" changes.
The UK is due to leave the EU in 10 days with or without a deal.
The prime minister had hoped to have another try at getting MPs to back the withdrawal deal she has agreed with the EU this week - but Speaker Bercow effectively torpedoed that with his surprise intervention on Monday.
Stephen Barclay told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the Commons Speaker had made a "serious ruling" and ministers were giving it "serious consideration".
He said it was important to "respect the referee" and abide by his decisions - but, he added, Mr Bercow himself had said, in the past, that if Parliament was guided only by precedent then "nothing ever would change".
Mr Bercow cited a ruling from 1604 to justify his decision to block a third vote, after the PM's deal was rejected for a second time last week, by 149 votes.
Mr Barclay suggested that MPs would "find a way" to get another vote, if the government manages to persuade enough of them, including the 10 Democratic Unionists, to change their mind and back the deal.
He suggested it would also depend on Theresa May getting "clarity" from the EU on the "terms of an extension" to Brexit.
He accepted that there would now have to be a "short extension" to the Article 50 withdrawal process if the deal gets through Parliament, to get the necessary legislation through.
Mrs May is writing to European Council President Donald Tusk to ask for an extension.
The PM has warned Brexiteer Tories that a long extension may be needed if they do not back her deal but Downing Street said it would not reveal what the PM has asked for at this stage.
There would, however, need to be a vote in both Houses of Parliament to change the 29 March departure date, which is written into law, the PM's spokesman said.
Mr Bercow refused to discuss his decision when quizzed by the BBC, as he made his way to Parliament earlier.
What are the options?
Government ministers and MPs have been floating different ideas on how to get a vote on the prime minister's deal, in light of the Speaker's ruling.
Children and Families' minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Newsnight that one of the options was for MPs to vote on whether to ignore the 400-year-old convention that Mr Bercow had cited in making his ruling.
Mr Zahawi, who is a Brexiteer, was asked whether the government was going to bypass Mr Bercow's ruling. He said: "Let's see, we have to look at all our options."
Solicitor General Robert Buckland said a vote to overrule the Speaker was the most likely way forward.
He told BBC Radio Wiltshire that if enough MPs show they want another vote on the Brexit deal, it can return to Parliament despite the current block.
He said this would be a more practical solution than asking the Queen to formally close and reopen Parliament, which some have suggested would get round the rule that MPs cannot be repeatedly asked to vote on the same question in a Parliamentary session.
Nikki da Costa, former director of legal affairs at Downing Street, told the Today programme: "I think the PM and the government can still have a third meaningful vote... but it will be extraordinarily difficult to have a fourth meaningful vote so I think MPs really have to think very carefully if that vote does come back."
There is also a question mark over whether any agreement reached by Theresa May in Brussels on extending Brexit would overrule a vote by MPs, as it would have force under international law.
What is the EU saying?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would struggle until the last possible moment to achieve an orderly Brexit, saying the interests of Germany, Britain and the EU were at stake.
"I will fight to the last hour of the deadline on 29 March for an orderly exit," she told a press conference in Berlin. "We don't have a lot of time for it but still have a few days."
EU ministers are, meanwhile, meeting in Brussels to prepare for this week's summit.
Germany's Europe minister, Michael Roth, said: "Our patience is really being put to the test at the moment and I can only ask our partners in London to finally make a concrete proposal why they are seeking an extension."
France's Europe minister, Nathalie Loiseau, said: "'Grant an extension, what for?' is always the question. Time is not a solution... we need a decision from London."
European Commission chief Jean Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, who is holding talks with Irish premier Leo Varadkar in Dublin. are due to hold press conferences later.
What about the opposition parties?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to meet the leaders of the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and Green Party for talks on Brexit.
The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas have all released a joint statement calling for another referendum.
"The best and most democratic way forward is to put the decision back to the people in a new vote - with the option to Remain on the ballot paper," they said.
Mr Corbyn will also meet members of the group of MPs calling for a so-called Norway Plus style of future relationship with the EU.
- 3 kids drown in flood water, 1 missing
- `There is a chance to joint invest in Bangladesh`
- BNP’s anarchy will not be tolerated: Hasan
- Sachin picks Shakib in his World Cup XI
- Zimbabwe inflation rate soars to 175%
- Train crash kills 9 with new weds
- BPSC announces dates for 38th BCS viva
- HC recommends punishment against 50 including Masud
- Zuma denies being `king of corrupt people`
- Nusrat murder: HC orders probe against ADM Enamul
- Shakib included in CWC19 best XI
- Fired DIG Mizan questioning at prison gate
- Primary students dropout rate decreased
- Jaffer, Ramanayeke as Tigers batting, bowling coach in SL tour
- Will be apologising to Williamson `For the rest of my life`
- Eid-ul-Azha advanced train ticket from Jul 29
- Partial lunar eclipse Wednesday
- New wave of cybercrime in Pakistan
- Accused stabbed dead by another in front of judge in court
- Non-government employees, slum dwellers to get flat: PM
- Temperature may rise over country
- PM opens 7 housing uplift schemes
- South Korean PM Lee leaves Dhaka
- Shah Rukh Khan to produce horror series for Netflix
- Russia`s Real Reasons for Partnering with Iran
- Sohel Rana speechless on Ershad’s death
- Ershad’s 2nd namaz-e-janaza held
- Pickup van hits covered van in Gazipur, kills 3
- Over 1,000 Google Play Store apps hiding a nasty secret
- Queen salutes England after World Cup glory
- All News »
- No more sight this life: Bidisha
- MP Firoz Rashid’s daughter-in-law Merina shot
- New Zealand knock India out of World Cup
- 24 killed in Papua New Guinea tribal massacres
- Saima rape, murder: Prime accused confesses to crime
- Happy Birthday Purnima
- NBR to launch mobile app to increase taxpayers
- Two siblings drown in Shariatpur pond
- HM Ershad passes away
- ‘Cox’s Bazar losing ecological balance for Rohingyas’
- Merkel says `very well` despite third shaking spell
- NZ to face England in 12th ICC World Cup final
- China assures to work to resolve Rohingya crisis: PM
- Netherlands Queen Maxima due today
- Queen Maxima and banking for the grassroots!
- Rickshaw pullers block Dhaka streets protesting ban
- Six bodies found in Cox’s Bazar beach
- Ershad`s son Eric receives kidnap threat
- UN to pay Bangladesh Tk 500 cr due
- Rifat murder: Rifat Farazi in 7-day remand
- Ishana announced to leave media after getting married
- England win Cricket WC after Super Over drama
- Dutch Queen Maxima arrives
- Rifat murder: Another one detained
- CU gets its first woman proctor
- Ershad’s offspring: who & where
- Sexual assault on Nusrat: charges to be formed Jul 17
- Kader Siddiqui quits Oikyafront
- Don’t publish deceptive information about milk: HC
- Rail link with Rajshahi snapped