Bercow prevents PM from bringing back Brexit deal to the House of Commons today

PUBLISHED: 15:36 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 21 October 2019

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons as they debate Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire.

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons as they debate Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire.

HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

House of Commons speaker John Bercow has prevented Boris Johnson from bringing back his Withdrawal Agreement for discussion so soon after Saturday's proceedings.

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The prime minister abandoned plans for a meaningful vote on Saturday when MPs backed a move forcing him to ask Brussels for a further delay.

But because the deal had been debated, Bercow blocked the vote coming back so soon because of rules over the same matter being discussed twice.

The "same question convention" had previously impacted Theresa May's plans to hold a Meaningful Vote earlier this year.

Bercow said the government's latest motion was the same in substance as the one considered on Saturday by MPs.

He told the Commons: "It's clear that the motions are in substance the same.

"However, this matter was decided fewer than 49 hours ago. After more than three hours of debate the House voted by 322 to 306 for Sir Oliver Letwin's amendment, which stated that 'this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed'."

Downing Street indicated that it would pull the vote if this happened.

The focus will switch to the government bringing its Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) to the Commons with the first opportunity for MPs to vote on it now at the second reading of the bill.

The WAB is the legally-binding treaty that must be passed for the UK to leave the bloc, while the government must also win a meaningful vote.

A spokesman said: "There is no point having a meaningless vote - the government would pull the motion. We will go ahead with the introduction of the WAB with second reading tomorrow."

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