UK speaker stymies PM May’s bid for 3rd vote on Brexit deal
LONDON (AP) — The speaker of Britain’s House of Commons dealt a potentially fatal blow to Prime Minister Theresa May’s ailing Brexit deal on Monday, saying the government couldn’t keep asking lawmakers to vote on the same deal they have already rejected twice.
The government intended to try a third time to get lawmakers to back the deal, ideally before May joins EU leaders Thursday at a Brussels summit where she is set to ask the bloc to postpone Britain’s departure.
May has warned opponents that a failure to approve her Brexit divorce deal would mean a long, and possibly indefinite, delay to Britain’s departure from the EU.
Speaker John Bercow scuttled May’s plan, saying that centuries-old parliamentary rules prevent “the same proposition or substantially the same proposition” from being brought back repeatedly for votes in a session of Parliament.
He said a new motion would have to be “fundamentally different. Not different in terms of wording, but different in terms of substance.”
By law, the U.K. will leave the EU on March 29, deal or no deal, unless it secures a delay from the bloc.
Withdrawing without a deal could mean huge disruption for businesses and people in the U.K. and the 27 remaining EU countries.