The House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, has said the government cannot bring back the meaningful vote again to parliament unless there has been substantial change to the Brexit deal.
In a shock move likely to infuriate the prime minister, the Speaker said the House of Commons was “being repeatedly asked to pronounce” on the same question.
Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May, Bercow said that by convention, the question “may not be brought forward again during the same session” and that it was a “strong and longstanding convention” dating back to 1604.
“Decisions of the house matter. They have weight,” he said. “It is a necessary rule to ensure the sensible use of the house’s time and the proper respect for the decisions which it takes.”
Bercow said the second meaningful vote motion held last week did not fall foul of the convention, because it “could credibly argued it was a different proposition” to that rejected on 15 January 15 because of changes the government considered to be legally binding.
“If the government was to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same, nor substantially the same as disposed of by 10 March, this would be entirely in order,” he said, but said it could not be “the same proposition or substantially the same proposition”.