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US News Speaker may block PM's push for Commons vote on his Brexit deal

04:20  21 october  2019
04:20  21 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

What the papers say – October 18

  What the papers say – October 18 The deal struck in Brussels leads many of Friday’s fronts.Pictures of Boris Johnson in Brussels take centre stage while the lingering Commons vote on the agreement makes headlines.

Boris Johnson is facing a knife-edge Commons vote on his Brexit deal as Parliament meets on a weekend for the first time in 37 years. The Prime Minister appealed to MPs from across the political spectrum to back his agreement with Brussels and end a “painful chapter” as the October 31 deadline

The PM said he may defy the act because “further delay will be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy.” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has also ruled out any further delays to Brexit . “We have a deal .

John Bercow, Boris Johnson are posing for a picture: Speaker John Bercow may not approve Boris Johnson's push for a meaningful vote © PA Speaker John Bercow may not approve Boris Johnson's push for a meaningful vote Boris Johnson is set for a showdown with Commons Speaker John Bercow today, with the prime minister expected to push for a so-called "meaningful vote" on his Brexit deal.

It is possible that Mr Bercow could block the government's move, and rule that the vote cannot be repeated so soon because it effectively happened on Saturday.

Last week, the speaker had told MPs that the "apparent purpose" of Monday's vote was to "invalidate or obviate" the effect of an amendment by Sir Oliver Letwin, which means that MPs will withhold their approval for Mr Johnson's deal unless and until he has passed all necessary legislation to implement it.

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Boris Johnson urges MPs to back his deal ahead of what looks to be an incredibly close vote in the Commons . Parliament will sit on a Saturday for the first time in 37 years to vote on Boris Johnson' s Brexit deal . The PM has been trying to convince MPs to support the agreement he secured with the

Image: Speaker John Bercow may not approve Boris Johnson' s push for a meaningful vote . Boris Johnson is set for a showdown with Commons Speaker John Bercow today, with the prime minister expected to push for a so-called "meaningful vote " on his Brexit deal .

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If Mr Bercow does prevent Mr Johnson from having a meaningful vote in the Commons, the focus will switch to the government bringing its Withdrawal Agreement Bill before MPs later today - with a vote on its second reading tomorrow.

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Ministers have insisted that they have the numbers to push this agreement through the Commons, but the arithmetic in parliament appears to be very tight.

It is very unlikely that the PM will get his way today - here's why

  It is very unlikely that the PM will get his way today - here's why There were two pieces of received wisdom about the vote on the first Saturday sitting of parliament since 1982 - one factual, one political. The first was that the government "pulled the vote" after they lost the Letwin amendment, which dictated that the PM's deal could not be authorised until all associated Brexit-related legislation is passed.The other was that nothing was decided, that it was a damp squib. Both things are untrue.

The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote . At the first Saturday sitting in the Commons for 37 years, MPs voted in favour of an amendment withholding approval of Mr Johnson' s Brexit deal until legislation to implement it is in

How Parliament Voted on a Measure that Disrupted Boris Johnson’ s Brexit Deal . A defiant Mr. Johnson said he would push for another vote on his agreement early next week. Mr. Johnson’ s deal differs from those of his predecessor, Theresa May , primarily in its treatment of Northern Ireland.

A government source told the PA news agency: "Parliament needs a straight up-and-down vote on the deal… or do they want to frustrate and cancel Brexit altogether?

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"We cannot allow parliament's letter to lead to parliament's delay."

Labour has warned it is going to try and hijack the legislation by putting down amendments for a second Brexit referendum and a customs union with the European Union.

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, has also indicated that the opposition could back the Withdrawal Agreement Bill if it was put to voters in a national poll against an option to Remain.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer responds to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay's statement on the Government's new Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer responds to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay's statement on the Government's new Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)

All of this comes as reports suggest that the EU is considering whether to offer the UK a "flexible extension" to the Brexit deadline - enabling the country to leave the trading bloc whenever an agreement has been secured.

Mr Johnson has continued to insist that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, but with just 10 days to go until this "do or die" deadline, the clock is ticking.

The PM was forced to abandon plans for a meaningful vote on Saturday after Sir Oliver Letwin's amendment passed - and as a result, he had to write to European Council President Donald Tusk to request a three-month extension to the Brexit negotiating period until 31 January 2020.

An aerial view shows Brexit accountability campaign group Led By Donkeys unfurling a large crowd banner, as a spoof of the government's advertising campaign, at Parliament Square, London, Britain October 19, 2019. Led By Donkeys/Handout via REUTERS   THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT © Thomson Reuters An aerial view shows Brexit accountability campaign group Led By Donkeys unfurling a large crowd banner, as a spoof of the government's advertising campaign, at Parliament Square, London, Britain October 19, 2019. Led By Donkeys/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT

Although Mr Johnson did fulfil this legal obligation, he sent a second letter that warned a further delay to Brexit would be "deeply corrosive" for both the UK and the EU.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused the prime minister of "behaving like a spoilt brat".

Looking ahead to today's events in Westminster, Sky's political correspondent Lewis Goodall said: "It always does seem to be a crucial week for the government and the Brexit deal, but I think the next few days really will be pivotal.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks ahead of a vote on his renegotiated Brexit deal, on what has been dubbed © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks ahead of a vote on his renegotiated Brexit deal, on what has been dubbed "Super Saturday", in the House of Commons in London, Britain October 19, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY

"Despite the fact that the government wants to bring back a meaningful vote today, they will not in all likelihood be allowed to do so.

"This is because the speaker will likely get up at 3.30pm and say that, as a result of the fact that the House of Commons has already made a decision on this via the Letwin amendment, there cannot be a meaningful vote until that legislation has been carried out.

"The problem then is that, once you get looking into the legislation, it can be amended in every way imaginable."

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Former Black Rod David Leakey, pictured left, said the government should scrap plans to hand Speaker John Bercow a peerage when he steps down from the chair later this week.Mr Bercow is set to step down from his role as House of Commons referee on Thursday, and former Black Rod David Leakey and ex-private secretary Angus Sinclair have accused the powers-that-be of dragging their heels over acting on complaints against him, according to a Sunday Telegraph report.

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