Theresa May ‘cannot bring same deal back for third meaningful vote’, rules Commons speaker

Written by Tom Freeman on 18 March 2019 in News

Intervention from the Commons speaker John Bercow means MPs will now not vote on Theresa may's deal for a third time unless the details change

John Bercow - PA

Theresa May’s plans to force her negotiated deal through parliament have been scuppered by the Speaker of the House of Commons after he ruled she could not resubmit a motion already rejected by MPs.

A proposal to the Commons which is "the same, or substantially the same" as one previously defeated cannot be put to MPs in the same parliamentary session, said John Bercow.

Any new proposal would need a change of content and wording, he added.

The decision means the Prime Minister will now have to give way on a deal she has refused to compromise on.

A lengthy delay on Brexit now looks more likely.

Pointing to parliamentary precedent from the 17th and 18th centuries, Bercow told MPs: “If the government wishes to bring a new proposition that is neither the same nor substantially the same as that disposed of by the house on the 12 March this would be entirely in order.

“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.”

Labour MP Angela Eagle suggested the decision was taken to “stop the bullying of the legislature by the executive”.

Anticipating criticism from ministers, Bercow said: "The role of the Speaker is to seek to facilitate the House. I have never been pushed around and I'm not going to start now.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the UK Government would respond when it was ready.

“The Speaker did not forewarn us of the content of his statement or the fact that he was making one,” he said.

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