Boris Johnson battles to save Brexit deal

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 22, 2019

UK Parliament Speaker John Bercow blocked Boris Johnson from holding a vote Monday on his new Brexit divorce deal, two days after MPs scotched the British prime minister's attempt to pass it.

Initially, investor sentiment remained dampened, with cable down by 0.6% and hovering around the $1.29 mark, as traders await to hear when a vote on Johnson's Brexit deal, which was sealed with the European Union last week, will be held.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow might tell Johnson on Monday that he can not bring what is effectively the same legislation back for a second vote.

If a so-called "meaningful vote" happens on Monday - Meaningful Monday? - then the government says it's confident it has the numbers to pass.

Johnson will need all the support he can get to push any deal through Parliament.

Parliamentarians were welcome to have their say on the newly struck deal with the European Union on Saturday, but the vote got out of hand after an amendment triggering the September Benn Act on a Brexit extension was proposed by a Tory MP.

"If essentially the legislation in the House of Commons steps too far away from what was agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, that does bring into question ratification", the spokesman said.

Johnson plans to introduce the government's key Brexit measure later Monday, with more debate and votes on Tuesday.

"If that happens, the efforts of the current prime minister to achieve Brexit on 31 October could be seriously frustrated".

If the European Union just decide to reject an extension, and MPs do not pass Boris Johnson's deal, Parliament's only means of stopping Brexit would be finding a way to deploy the nuclear option of cancelling the Article 50 notice of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union outright, likely against the Government's will.

Going forward eyes will be on whether the Speaker allows parliament to vote on the Brexit deal, however, given that the same issue can not be debated twice in one sitting, it is likely that Speaker John Bercow will unlikely allow for another parliamentary vote.

"The motion will not be debated today because it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so", Bercow said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he stands alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a press point at EU headquarters in Brussels, Oct. 17, 2019.

But lawmakers refused on Saturday to give their backing to his revised divorce plan until all the domestic legislation needed to ratify it has passed.

"It is clear that the motions are in substance the same", Bercow said.

Sir Oliver, who was among the rebels exiled by Mr Johnson over their attempts to stop a no-deal, successfully tabled an amendment which effectively forced the PM to ask for a delay.

"It is becoming remarkable how often you please one lot and not the other lot", Bernard Jenkin, a pro-Brexit Conservative Party lawmaker, told parliament.

"Letwin's delay amendment turned Saturday into a meaningless vote and denied MPs and the public the chance to end the uncertainty", the Cabinet commented, expressing hope that after Monday, Parliament will be able to move on to "focus on the things that really matter" for the British public - "priorities like the NHS, police, and schools".

Opposition lawmakers also plan to seek amendments that could substantially alter the bill, for example by adding a requirement that the Brexit deal be put to voters in a new referendum.

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