Speaker Denies Johnson New Vote on Divorce Deal: Brexit Update

Alex Morales, Kitty Donaldson and Robert Hutton
Speaker Denies Johnson New Vote on Divorce Deal: Brexit Update

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Boris Johnson was thwarted in his latest attempt to get his Brexit deal approved in Parliament, in another blow to his effort to take the U.K. out of the European Union in 10 days’ time.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow rejected the government’s bid to trigger a second parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal the prime minister secured last week in Brussels.

Bercow said members of Parliament had already debated and voted on Johnson’s deal in principle in a rare sitting on Saturday -- two days ago -- and they had decided to delay taking a final decision on whether to approve or reject it.

The prime minister cannot keep asking MPs to answer the same question in an attempt to get them to change their minds, Bercow said, citing a parliamentary convention dating back to 1604.

“It is clear that the motions are in substance the same,” Bercow said. “My ruling is therefore that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”

On Saturday, Parliament voted to postpone a final verdict on Johnson’s Brexit deal until after detailed legislation has been passed to implement it, a move designed to prevent the U.K. accidentally tumbling out of the EU with no deal.

Johnson has vowed repeatedly to force the U.K. out of the EU with or without a deal by the current Oct. 31 deadline. He will now attempt to fast-track the draft law to implement his exit agreement through Parliament over the next 10 days, as he battles to deliver Brexit on time.

“We’re disappointed that the Speaker has yet again denied us the chance to deliver on the will of the British people,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.

Betrayal, Jealousy and Cliff Edges: Johnson’s Brexit Minefield

Key Developments:

Speaker John Bercow ruled a second vote on Johnson’s Brexit deal cannot take place on MondayMinisters said Sunday the government has enough support in Parliament to get Johnson’s Brexit deal ratifiedDUP’s Jim Shannon says the party won’t back an amendment to the deal to keep the U.K. in a customs union with the EU, after Labour said it is seeking support for such a moveGovernment says it will introduce Brexit bill on MondayPound trades near a five-month high on speculation Johnson will win MPs’ backing for his Brexit deal this week

Government Plans 3 Commons Days in Brexit Bill (5:55 p.m.)

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg set out the accelerated schedule on which the government hopes to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the chamber. He said it’ll complete all its stages by Thursday Oct. 24. That implies:

Tuesday: Second Reading and so-called program motionWednesday: Committee StageThursday: Third Reading

But all that depends on the program motion passing, and opposition MPs are complaining that this timetable leaves them no space to scrutinize the bill.

Johnson Attacks Bercow Over Vote Rejection (5:30 p.m.)

Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, attacked John Bercow’s decision not to let members of Parliament vote again on the prime minister’s Brexit deal. “We’re disappointed that the Speaker has yet again denied us the chance to deliver on the will of the British people,” Slack told reporters.

Johnson earlier spoke to David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, and urged him to get the Brexit deal ratified on his side by Oct. 31, Slack said.

Corbyn Demands Economic Impact Assessment (4:30 p.m.)

Opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn put an urgent question to the government, calling for ministers to publish an assessment of the economic impact of the exit deal Boris Johnson brokered last week with the EU.

Earlier on Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said in a letter to Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee that there’s no need for an impact assessment because the benefits of the deal are “self-evidently in our economic interest.”

Bercow Bans New Vote on Brexit Deal Today (3:40 p.m.)

Commons Speaker John Bercow threw another obstacle in Johnson’s way, rejecting the prime minister’s attempt to put his Brexit deal to another vote, just two days after MPs debated it.

Bercow cited a parliamentary rule dating back to 1604 under which the government cannot repeatedly ask Parliament to vote on the exact same motion.

“It is clear that the motions are in substance the same,” Bercow said. “My ruling is therefore that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”

Judges Extend Decision on Johnson, Benn Act (1 p.m.)

Scottish judges held off on ruling on a case brought by opponents of a no-deal Brexit to ensure that Prime Minister Boris Johnson complies with a law requiring he reach an agreement with the European Union on leaving or postponing the country’s departure.

The panel didn’t set a date for the next hearing when releasing their decision in Edinburgh on Monday. The opponents are seeking a continuation to ensure that Johnson accepts an extension from the EU if it’s offered.

Johnson Would Pull Vote on Deal If MPs Amend It (11:30 a.m.)

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the government would pull a planned “meaningful vote” on its Brexit deal if Members of Parliament “render it pointless” with amendments, the prime minister’s spokesman told reporters in London. In any case, the vote would only go ahead if Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow allows it, James Slack said.

The government wants to hold a second reading of its Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Tuesday, Slack said. It will be published once it’s introduced to the House of Commons later on Monday. He said the government aims to submit its so-called program motion on Tuesday to fast-track the legislation, but is also holding discussions on when to pull the draft law if amendments take it too far from the deal agreed with the EU.

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.

Government to Introduce Brexit Bill (10:15 a.m.)

The U.K. government confirmed it will introduce its Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the crucial piece of law that will incorporate Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal into British statute, on Monday.

“MPs and peers will today have in front of them a bill that will get Brexit done by October 31, protect jobs and the integrity of the U.K., and enable us to move onto the people’s priorities like health, education and crime,” Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said in an emailed statement. “If Parliament wants to respect the referendum, it must back the bill.”

DUP Will Not Support Customs Union: Shannon (9:30 a.m.)

Democratic Unionist Party MP Jim Shannon told Sky News his party is “meeting shortly” to discuss issues including potential amendments to the government’s Brexit legislation, but ruled out backing any move to keep the U.K. in the European Union’s customs union.

“We are clear where we stand on the customs union, that’s something that the cannot support and will not support,” Shannon said.

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. Getting an amendment through the House of Commons would likely require the DUP’s votes.

Baker: Will Compromise to Get U.K. Out of EU (Earlier)

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 U.K. out of the European Union on Oct. 31.

His advice to the group is “that we should number one back the deal, number two vote for the legislation all the way through unless it was wrecked by opponents,” Baker said, though he notably did not rule out accepting a deal that keeps the U.K. in the EU’s customs union.

“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.

Earlier:

Johnson’s Battle to Deliver Brexit: Here’s What Happens NextJohnson Might Yet Get Brexit Done: Counting the VotesU.K. Starts ‘No-Deal’ Brexit Preparations as EU Poised to Delay

--With assistance from Christopher Elser, Greg Ritchie, Jessica Shankleman, Andrew Atkinson, Robert Hutton and Tiago Ramos Alfaro.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, ;Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs

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