Brexit Party claim talks between EU and Bercow over second referendum were 'immoral'

PUBLISHED: 08:54 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 10 October 2019

President of the European parliament, David Sassoli, speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

President of the European parliament, David Sassoli, speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Brexiteer MEPs have branded it 'disgraceful' that John Bercow has met with his EU counterpart to discuss Brexit and a possible second referendum.

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Bercow met with David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, while the Italian politician was in London following his meeting with Boris Johnson.

Sassoli - who carries out a similar function to the speaker by refereeing MEP debates in Brussels - confirmed he met Bercow to discuss extending Article 50 and his own views on a second referendum.

He said the pair were "on the same wavelength" when it came to the "importance" of the roles of both parliaments in the Brexit process.

Both MPs and MEPs will have to approve any Brexit deal agreed by the European Commission and Downing Street.

The Speaker, who is meant to remain neutral, has already played a pivotal role in Brexit having allowed emergency debates posed by Opposition MPs to go ahead.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage branded the meeting "disgraceful" and party chair Richard Tice asked "what authority" the pair had to hold such discussions.

Belinda de Lucy MEP launched into a tirade against Sassoli following his announcement to the European parliament, accusing the Italian politician of "directly interfering" in British politics.

She said: "Let me make this very clear Mr Sassoli, you have no right to go and speak with the UK speaker and have conversations that are directly interfering into our domestic politics," said the Brexit Party representative for the South East of England.

"It exposes your intentions to intervene at all levels to stop Brexit. It is immoral. Shame on you."

Sassoli had been in the Capital to meet Boris Johnson as part of a tour to meet with European leaders. He travelled back to Brussels following his discussions with Bercow.

In a statement, he said his message to the speaker was that the European Parliament approve a Brexit extension if it was to allow "time for a general election or a referendum".

Addressing MEPs in Brussels, he added: "Speaker Bercow and I were very much on the same wavelength regarding the importance of the roles of our respective parliaments in managing Brexit and we share an awareness that a chaotic exit of the United Kingdom from the EU would work to the detriment of both sides."

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