U.K. Commons speaker deals new blow to Johnson's Brexit plan

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 21, 2019

But, as with much to do with Brexit, the session did not go as planned.Johnson was ambushed by rebel lawmakers who forced the government to ask Europe for another extension - something Johnson once vowed he'd rather be "dead in a ditch" than do.Johnson sent a letter Saturday to Brussels asking for an extension but in a move that highlights the strained norms of British statecraft, he did not sign it and immediately sent a second saying he doesn't really want an extension.European officials haven't yet given their answer to the request for more time to get the deal through Parliament.

Bercow says the vote sought by the government was "in substance the same" as one held on Saturday and it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to allow a new vote Monday.

Johnson plans to kick things off by asking for a "straight up-and-down vote" on the European Union divorce agreement on Monday, two days after lawmakers voted to delay approving the deal, according to his office. "The prime minister has achieved what is a very good deal and he is focused on getting that deal through parliament".

The government has proposed a debate on the deal, according to the House of Commons order paper which says the speaker will make a statement on the proceedings shortly after Parliament opens.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepared to Monday make a second attempt to ram his European Union divorce deal through parliament and avoid the political damage of delaying Brexit next week.

Speaker John Bercow is thought to be unlikely to allow it on the grounds that this would repeat Saturday's debate, but he has not yet given his formal decision.

Elaine Motion, the solicitor for three anti-Brexit campaigners who took the case to court, said they feared he could try to thwart the process, perhaps by secretly asking an European Union member state to veto the extension. It will be published once it's introduced to the House of Commons later on Monday.

Success or failure then would set the course for the coming week and largely determine whether Johnson's will get his October 31 divorce.

The claimants' lawyer, Elaine Motion, said the ruling meant "the sword of Damocles remains hanging" over the government.

Slack also said negotiations with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which the government still considers to be its partner in Parliament, are ongoing to try to persuade its MPs to back Johnson's Brexit deal. "If Parliament wants to respect the referendum, it must back the bill".

The government has ruled out both of those options.

The comments come after the main opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said his party would back amendments on a second referendum and a customs union, and made a direct appeal to the DUP to rethink their opposition to the latter.

Steve Baker, chairman of the Conservative Party's European Research Group pro-Brexit caucus, told BBC Radio on Monday his colleagues are prepared to compromise to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union on October 31.

His foes are now forging new alliances and trying to attach amendments that could either force Johnson to accept closer trade ties - or abandon the deal and accept a third delay this year.

"For people like me, vast areas of that Withdrawal Agreement are unchanged and we are going to have to choke down our pride and vote in the national interest to get Brexit done", he said.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE