Anti-Brexit Members of Parliament are outraged the government wants them to vote more than once on Brexit after they gave the wrong answer the first time — an ironic position given the determined push to have a second referendum on whether to leave the European Union, as one Brexiteer member pointed out Monday afternoon.
Parliament was to vote on whether to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new and improved Brexit ‘deal’ with the European Union Saturday afternoon, but a wrecking amendment led to the government withdrawing the motion and a second being chalked in for Monday afternoon.
Yet in a dramatic intervention, the speaker of the house John Bercow — himself figured to be against Britain leaving the European Union — the speaker prevented the motion being debated and voted on again. The move was made citing a historical Parliamentary precedent, which finds asking Members of Parliament the same question again and again is an affront to their dignity because their first decision should be respected.
Yet this begs the question why politicians should be afforded this privilege and not members of the public. In a peculiar twist of fate, many MPs protected in this way are simultaneously campaigning tirelessly to force the British people to vote on Brexit for a second time — and maybe even a third — until they give the right answer and embrace the European Union.
📺 WATCH | The European Union doesn't take 'No' for an answer. Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, France and Greece have all had referenda ignored or overturned.
Don't let Britain be added to that list. 👊
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) February 27, 2019
Brexiteer Conservative and army reservist Desmond Swayne posed the question himself in the house, making a point of order during the debate which was accepted but was not ultimately answered by John Bercow.
Swayne said: “However unfashionable it may be Mr Speaker, I think you’re quite right. And by the same token, it is quite wrong to expect the voters to have to answer the same question a second time.”
His remarks were met with jeers in the chamber.
Re-running, changing the question of, or simply ignoring the outcomes of national votes that go against the desired direction of travel set by Brussels has become a regular feature of European Union-style democracy. Such reruns when Brussels got the wrong answer have been seen in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and possibly the United Kingdom in the near future.
The Associated Press wrote of the Speaker’s move to prevent Parliament voting on the deal again:
Bercow says the vote sought by the government was “in substance the same” as one held on Saturday and it would be “repetitive and disorderly” to allow a new vote Monday.
Johnson’s Conservative government will now go to its Plan B: get Parliament’s backing for the deal by passing the legislation necessary to implement it. The government plans to publish the bill later Monday and hopes to have it become law by Britain’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure date.
But it’s unclear whether the bill can win majority backing in Parliament, and opposition lawmakers will try to seek amendments that could alter or scuttle it.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged lawmakers to back the bill and — more than three years after British voters narrowly voted to leave the EU — “enable us to move onto the people’s priorities like health, education and crime.”