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Politics

Brexit: constitutional chaos after third vote on deal blocked

  • Brexit: constitutional chaos after third vote on deal blocked
    Prime minister likely to have to request long article 50 extension after Bercow intervenes Brexit: constitutional chaos after third vote on deal blocked

The government says it is pressing ahead with Theresa May's Brexit deal despite Commons Speaker John Bercow throwing the process into doubt. Prime minister likely to have to request long article 50 extension after Bercow intervenes

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay suggested a vote could take place next week - after Mrs May has sought a delay to Brexit from the EU.

Mr Bercow has ruled that the PM can not bring her deal back for a third vote without "substantial changes".

Mr Barclay said "serious consideration" was being given to his intervention.

The Brexit secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was important to "respect the referee" and abide by his decisions.

But he added that Mr Bercow himself had said, in the past, that if Parliament was guided only by precedent then "nothing ever would change".

Mr Bercow cited a ruling from 1604 to justify his decision to block a third vote, after the deal was rejected for a second time last week, by 149 votes.

Mr Barclay suggested that MPs would "find a way" to get another vote, if the government manages to persuade enough of them, including the 10 Democratic Unionists, to change their mind and back the deal.

He suggested it would also depend on Theresa May getting "clarity" from the EU on "terms of an extension" to Brexit.

George Ciamba, the Romanian minister who will chair today's meeting of European affairs ministers in Brussels, said there was "less clarity today than yesterday" on Brexit.

He said an extension of Article 50, the legal process taking the UK out of the EU was matter for leaders and that Thursday's European Council meeting was the proper venue for the decision.