London: In yet another blow for British Prime Minister Theresa May, Speaker of the British Parliament John Bercow said on Monday that lawmakers cannot vote again on the Brexit deal as the same agreement was rejected twice.
Citing parliamentary procedure, Bercow underlined that the British government cannot put forth a motion repeatedly before the parliamentarians if it had been previously rejected in the same session.
“What the government cannot legitimately do is resubmit to the House the same proposition — or substantially the same proposition — as that of last week, which was rejected by 149 votes,” Bercow was quoted by CNN, as saying.
The UK Parliament has already rejected the Brexit deal twice by substantial margins, even though May repeatedly stated that the hard-pressing issues were resolved and asserted that “this is the only deal possible.”
According to some reports, the British government was mulling to bring the deal back for a third time. Also, some reports had surfaced that if lawmakers had disapproved the agreement again, then May could attempt to push another motion in her fourth attempt.
However, dispelling the speculations, Bercow noted that the first two motions on Brexit deal were “sufficiently different not to have broken parliamentary convention.”
With just 10 days before the March 29 deadline approaches, it now seems unlikely that May will push for a new vote on her controversial deal before the European Council summit slated to take place in Brussels on March 21.
On January 15, May’s Brexit deal was voted down by the parliamentarians at the House of Commons by a resounding majority of 230 votes. The deal was voted down by 432 votes to 202, the worst defeat for any sitting government in the UK. Around 118 Conservative Party MPs had voted against the withdrawal agreement.
Subsequently, she presented an alternate path in a bid to secure Parliamentary support for a Brexit deal, which was also rejected.
On March 12, May suffered another blow when the UK Parliament rejected her beleaguered deal for the second time in two months, despite the British Prime Minister securing further guarantees from Brussels over its most controversial elements. The House of Commons voted by 391 to 242 to reject the deal.
A day later, British lawmakers voted to reject a no-deal Brexit, which allows the UK to leave the EU without any agreement. The motion was rejected by 321 votes to 278.
On March 14, the British Parliament voted in favour of delaying the Brexit process beyond the scheduled date of March 29 and overwhelmingly rejected a call for a second referendum, plunging the country into political chaos.
The vote to delay the UK’s exit from the European Union was passed by 412 votes to 202 in the House of Commons, which means the British parliamentarians acknowledged that more time is required to break the deadlock, amid the uncertainty surrounding the country’s status in leaving the European bloc.
Apart from this, British lawmakers rejected a motion to support a second referendum on Brexit by 334 votes to 85. The vote was indicative and would not have been legally binding if it was passed in the House of Commons.
May had earlier warned that the Brexit process could be delayed longer if her agreement was rejected for the third time. If that happens, it would force the UK to elect members to the European Parliament in the elections slated to be held in May.
The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has time and again labelled the withdrawal agreement as a “botched deal”, having previously announced his Labour Party’s intent of holding a public vote to avoid a “damaging Tory Brexit.”