It’s going to be Brexit and nothing but Brexit for the next 10 days at least, I’m afraid:
Theresa May’s government has been plunged into constitutional chaos after the Speaker blocked the prime minister from asking MPs to vote on her Brexit deal for a third time unless it had fundamentally changed.
With 11 days to go until Britain is due to leave the EU, May was forced to pull her plans for another meaningful vote because John Bercow said she could not ask MPs to pass the same deal, after they rejected it twice by huge margins. EU officials, meanwhile, were considering offering her a new date for a delayed Brexit to resolve the crisis.
Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May, Bercow said the question “may not be brought forward again during the same session” and that it was a “strong and longstanding convention” dating back to 1604. It must be “not different in terms of wording, but different in terms of substance”, he said, suggesting there must be a change in what the EU is offering.
I thought that Bercow actually had a good point, in saying that the Government shouldn’t keep going back to Parliament with the same question to put before them.
The same could be said about a second referendum. The British people were asked in 2016 whether they wanted to remain in the EU or leave. They gave their answer: leave. To ask them to vote again, as many people seem to want, would be to annul the 2016 vote. How many times will they to be asked to vote?
It’s the same with the proposed delay that Theresa May is now requesting. If she can get one delay, then she can get another. There could be an endless set of delays.