The Remain-backing Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has vowed to “fight with every breath” to stop Prime Minister Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament to ensure a no-deal Brexit is delivered by October 31st.
Prime Minister Johnson is said to be considering proroguing (temporarily suspending) Parliament in order to prevent the Remainer-dominated House of Commons from forcing another delay to Brexit, with the country currently scheduled to leave on Halloween.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in comments reported by The Guardian, Mr Bercow said that he is inspired to stop the prime minister from using any means necessary to deliver Brexit under the pretext that “the House of Commons must have its way”.
“And if there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or – God forbid – to close down parliament, that is anathema to me,” he continued.
The British people voted on June 23rd, 2016, to leave the EU in what was agreed and accepted was a fair and democratic referendum; however, Mr Bercow fears that to temporarily suspend parliament in order to deliver on a decision contrary to the individual wishes of pro-EU MPs would be a betrayal of “democratic society”.
Mr Bercow vowed: “I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening. We cannot have a situation in which Parliament is shut down. We are a democratic society and Parliament will be heard.”
Advocates of prorogation do not want to “shut down” Parliment, however — merely temporarily suspend its sitting so the European Union (Withdrawal) Act which Parliament passed can come into force on time.
Poll: 54 Per Cent of Brits Want Brexit ‘By Any Means’, Including Suspending Parliament https://t.co/V0BOOAmME1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 13, 2019
Bercow’s remarks come as a poll revealed that a majority of Britons, 54 per cent, want Brexit delivered “by any means, including suspending Parliament if necessary, to prevent MPs from stopping it”.
When asked by a member of the audience if Parliament was able to stop a clean, no-deal Brexit, the Speaker replied: “Yes.”
Last month, the Speaker had also claimed that a second referendum “is possible” and that there is no reason that a second vote could not undo the decision made by the British people in 2016.
In May, Mr Bercow defied expectations that he would stand down this summer, after being in post for a decade, by pledging to stay on in what Brexiteers saw as part of Bercow’s machinations to disrupt a no-deal Brexit, which he denied was “inevitable” if Britain could not agree an exit treaty with the EU.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticised Mr Bercow for “acting way above his station” and for pledging to stay on longer as Speaker, saying: “What Bercow is really saying is this… if a Conservative prime minister tried to take us out with no deal, WTO terms, on the 31st of October he is going to make sure that the House of Commons get a chance to vote it down, even though it is already the law of the land.”
The Speaker, who is meant to remain politically neutral as the arbiter of the lower house, is also an outspoken critic of U.S. President Donald Trump and a known Remain supporter, boycotting June’s state banquet in honour of the President’s visit and effectively banning him from addressing Parliament ahead of his 2018 working visit, which drew criticism from British lawmakers.
Historian: Queen Should Suspend Parliament to Stop Remain MPs from Blocking Brexit https://t.co/DOEMxaf0T3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 16, 2019