BREXIT LIVE: Bercow rejects new meaningful vote on Brexit
Markets calm as further delay now seems likely
The Commons Speaker John Bercow has thwarted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest attempt to push his Brexit deal through the UK Parliament.
After the Letwin Amendment was passed on Saturday postponing a meaningful vote on the deal, Johnson was required to send a letter to the European Union requesting an extension. Number 10 sent an unsigned request, followed by a signed second letter exhorting the EU not to accept delay and emphasising the virtues of a British departure on October 31.
After Johnson attempted to introduce his Brexit deal again, the Speaker announced in a statement just after 15:30: “My ruling is that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”
When Tory MP Peter Bone, an arch-eurosceptic, argued that circumstances had changed, allowing a vote to be repeated, as no one knew whether the Prime Minister would send an extension letter or not, the Speaker he had not taken into account whether or not a minister of the crown “would obey the law”.
Scotland’s highest court, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, is currently reviewing whether Johnson acted unlawfully by sending an unsigned letter, but its decision has been delayed.
News that the UK and EU had reached a deal came as a surprise last week, sending sterling surging to its highest point in nearly six months at $1,3011. Goldman Sachs consequently cut chances of a “no-deal” Brexit on World Trade Organisation terms, raising the probability of a ratified deal passing to 70 per cent.
Judging by the markets, investors seem confident that Johnson will opt for a smooth departure. The GBP/USD rate eased marginally, standing at around $1.2983 after the news.
The FTSE 100 remained similarly stable, closing the day up 0.18 per cent at 7163.64.