The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has blocked a third ‘meaningful vote’ on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, unless the motion put to MPs is substantially different.
In a ruling in the Commons earlier today, Bercow said he would not allow a third vote on the deal if the motion is ‘substantially the same’ as that put to MPs last Tuesday.
Last week saw MPs defeat Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time by 149 votes.
Bercow cited a parliamentary convention from the 17th Century, which said that a defeated motion could not be brought back for another vote in the same parliamentary session.
Ministers have claimed this risks a ‘constitutional crisis’, with Britain only 11 days before it is due to leave the European Union.
The decision by the Speaker makes it more likely that Theresa May will ask for a longer extension to Article 50 in the upcoming European Council summit later this week. Such an extension would need to approved by all member states of the EU and would also require the UK to contest elections for the European Parliament scheduled for May.