Speaker rejects fresh Brexit vote

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:54 IST | Agencies | London

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow says a motion on the deal had already been brought before the MPs on Saturday, and it would be 'repetitive and disorderly' to debate it again

Boris Johnson speaks during the Brexit debate inside the House of Commons in London on October 19. Pic/AP
Boris Johnson speaks during the Brexit debate inside the House of Commons in London on October 19. Pic/AP

London: House of Commons Speaker John Bercow on Monday refused a government request to hold a 'yes' or 'no' vote on its Brexit deal. Bercow said a motion on the deal had already been brought before MPs on Saturday, and it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to debate it again, the BBC reported.

Saturday's sitting saw an amended motion nodded through by MPs, withholding approval of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal until it has been passed into law. Johnson's spokesman said he was "disappointed" by the decision.

He added, "The speaker has yet again denied us a chance to deliver on the will of British people." The UK is due to leave the EU in 10 days, and while Johnson and fellow EU leaders have agreed to a new deal to allow that to happen, it cannot come into force until it is approved by both the UK and European parliaments.

The government wanted to hold a 'yes' or 'no' vote — or so-called 'meaningful vote' — on its deal on Saturday, but MPs instead chose to back an amendment tabled by former Tory Oliver Letwin, which said that could not happen until legislation, called the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), was passed. The WAB will be introduced later, but will then have to go through full parliamentary scrutiny in both the Commons and the Lords.

Sterling down by 0.55 per cent

Sterling fell modestly as trading resumed on Monday following British PM Johnson's latest failure to break the Brexit deadlock, with forex markets shrugging off a weekend of drama in the parliament. The currency was down 0.55% to US$1.2913 at around 0000GMT, holding relatively steady for a currency that has been on a roller coaster. "The fact Sterling has proven resilient...buttresses well for risk sentiment," wrote Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, in a commentary.

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