Cabinet row over Brexit delay as Barnier demands clarity

Mr Bercow yesterday ruled out allowing the Prime Minister to bring back the meaningful vote for a third time without any significant changes to the deal.

The pound rose by 0.2% in early trading local time, keeping its head above water at the $1.32 level, where the currency trade seems to stabilise in between volatile swings.

If the prime minister's European Union withdrawal deal is backed by MPs at the third attempt, she says the United Kingdom will need a short extension to get the legislation through Parliament.

Mr Bercow told the Commons today: 'If the Government wishes to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same or substantially the same as that disposed of by the House on March 12, that would be entirely in order.

In response, a Downing Street spokesperson said, "We note the speaker's statement".

This morning, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney travelled to Brussels to meet with EU Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt and Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier. The DUP's 10 lawmakers prop up May's minority Conservative government, and their support could influence pro-Brexit Conservatives to drop their opposition to the deal.

Parliament speaker John Bercow made the announcement on Monday afternoon, saying the "government can not legitimately ... resubmit to the House [of Commons] the same proposition or substantially the same proposition as that of last week".

Opposition centers on a measure created to ensure there is no hard border between the UK's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland after Brexit.

Loiseau expressed her frustration with the process the day after it was reported that she had named her cat Brexit because he was indecisive and reluctant to leave the house.

The British government, meanwhile, signaled that it has not given up on May's deal, and could try to bring it back to Parliament next week if it can win over enough opponents. Extending without a clear plan will add to the economic cost to our businesses and a political cost for the EU.

Ms Loiseau's approach has echoed the tone set by president Emmanuel Macron, who has warned he could block an extension to Article 50, scheduled for March 29, if the United Kingdom does not come up with new choices to justify it.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said a vote this week was now less likely, adding: "This is a moment of crisis for our country".

Mr Bercow's ruling could make that plan impossible unless Mrs May is able to negotiate some change to her deal before presenting it once more to MPs.

"What the government can not legitimately do is to resubmit to the House the same proposition or substantially the same proposition as that of last week which was rejected by 149 votes", he said.

It comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she will fight for an orderly Brexit right up until Britain's planned departure from the EU.

However, several leave-supporting MPs said they had been reassured that May's intention was still to push ahead with Brexit as rapidly as possible - and that she would only accept a longer extension if forced into it by Brussels.

"We have to know what the British want: How long, what is the reason supposed to be, how it should go, what is actually the aim of the extension?"

Britain, European and French flags are seen before a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 21, 2016.

"We need an initiative, we need something new because if it's an extension to remain in the same deadlock [that would be unacceptable.] How do we get out of this deadlock?"

  • Jon Douglas