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Brexit news: Theresa May EU deal rejection could see MPs seize Parliament procedure | Politics | News


The conspirators are thought to be planning to seize control of the House of Commons timetable, allowing non-Government MPs to table motions. The move could see laws passed preventing a hard-Brexit, or indeed any departure from the EU. A majority of MPs are opposed to quitting the EU without a deal.

According to The Sunday Times, a senior Government figure said: “This could be game over for Brexit.”

Another told the paper: “This sounds like a very British coup – and one that has profound implications for democracy.”

The Prime Minister and her top aides are thought to be “shellshocked” by the development.

The plot is being organised by a cross-party group of MPs, including former Tory Government Ministers.

They are reportedly planning to table an amendment giving motion proposed by backbench MPs priority over those put forward by the Government, in a move which would radically change how Parliament functions.

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Parliament could then pass a law making it illegal for the Government to push ahead with a no-deal Brexit, or even stopping the UK leaving the EU altogether.

Senior Conservative backbencher Nick Boles confirmed yesterday he is working to pass a law to stop a no-deal EU exit.

He told The Sunday Times: “We have a mechanism which will give Parliament control over the Brexit negotiations and ensure we do not leave the EU without a deal on March 29.

“To change a law you need to pass a law.

“I am working on ways to achieve that outcome.”

The success of the plot is likely to depend on the actions of Commons Speaker John Bercow, who will decide whether the rebel motion comes before the House.

House of Commons sources suggest Mr Bercow, who has a tense relationship with the Government, would select the motion for a vote.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Bercow met anti-Brexit Tory MP Dominic Grieve just hours before the speaker controversially allowed an amendment increasing pressure on the Government to come to a vote on Wednesday.

The amendment, which was passed with the help of Brexit sceptic Tory MPs including Mr Grieve, means the Government will have to come before Parliament within three sitting days to explain its Brexit ‘Plan B’ should its exit deal be voted down on Tuesday.

Mr Bercow’s decision to allow a vote on the amendment went against Parliamentary protocol, and the advice of his most senior aide, leading to accusations of bias against the Speaker.

The Sun on Sunday claims Sir David Natzler, Clerk of the House of Commons, argued against the decision but was bluntly overruled by the Speaker.

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A source said: “He tried more than once to explain why he was wrong, but the Speaker told him he was not interested in what a gaggle of clerks had to say.

“He finally managed to get part of his message across in private and handed over a note he had written from which he had quoted one or two points to help the Speaker. But that not was taken away and destroyed.”

A spokesman for the Speaker’s office refused to confirm or deny the reports.

He commented: “Any meetings the Speaker has with the clerks are private and we never divulge what was discussed.”

With both Conservatives’ DUP allies and dozens of backbencher Tory MPs vowing to reject the Governments deal it looks unlikely to pass the Commons on Tuesday.

If it fails the Labour Party has indicated it plans to call for a vote of no-confidence in the Government, in a bid to force a General Election, potentially as soon as Wednesday.



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