Boris Johnson blocked from holding Brexit vote

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a potentially perilous process of ratifying his Brexit divorce deal in parliament, after the Speaker of the House of Commons refused to allow a vote on it on Monday (October 21).

John Bercow said a vote would not be permitted as the same issue had been discussed two days earlier (October 19), when lawmakers turned Johnson's big Brexit day into a humiliation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE OF COMMONS SPEAKER, JOHN BERCOW, SAYING:

"Today's motion is in substance the same as Saturday's motion, and the House has decided the matter. Today's circumstances are in substance the same as Saturday's circumstances. My ruling is therefore that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so."

Bercow said the so-called "same day convention", which dates back to 1604, was designed to ensure the sensible use of parliament's time and "proper respect for the decisions it takes".

Saturday's vote means that Johnson's government now has to bring forward legislation in order to get the deal passed.

That gives the PM's opponents the opportunity to make amendments that could make the withdrawal deal unpalatable to a large swathe of Johnson's own party.