May suffers another Commons Brexit defeat UK News

Theresa May tells MPs 'see you next Tuesday' as Brexit vote confirmed

A dramatic first day of debate on Theresa May's Brexit plans saw the Prime Minister go down to her second defeat within 24 hours amid furious debate over the impartiality of Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The main impact is to transfer significant power to MPs to determine what kind of Brexit or no-Brexit the United Kingdom will have because - as and when - Theresa May loses the vote on her Brexit plan next week, she will have to report to parliament in three working days on what comes next.

Numerous Labour MPs also came to his defence, with Labour MP Chuka Umunna tweeting: "In the Commons chamber now watching the spectacle of a bunch of Tory MPs, who argued for Brexit to reassert Parliamentary sovereignty, now objecting to the Speaker selecting a motion to be voted on that would empower the House of Commons".

The government previously had three weeks to bring forward new proposals if the prime minister's deal is rejected by MPs in their "meaningful vote", which is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, legislators backed an amendment to the Finance Bill that puts roadblocks in the way of government spending on no-deal Brexit measures.

Before the vote, May's government said a defeat would be "inconvenient rather than significant", noting that there were other mechanisms that would allow the government to raise money.

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A Number 10 spokesman said: "We are surprised that the Grieve amendment was selected, the advice we received was that it would not be in order".

While the two votes are largely symbolic, the successive defeat shows how weak parliamentary support is for Mrs May's Brexit plans.

He added: "I don't think that's what parliamentarians want".

May's de-facto deputy said it was a delusion to think the government would be able to negotiate a new divorce deal if Parliament voted down hers.

The Times understands that Sir Keir Starmer has told the Labour leader that with less than three months to go before leaving the European Union the party's options are limited and it has an obligation not to allow the government to run down the clock on a no-deal Brexit.

"When I became an MP three years ago I was determined that I would not become part of the establishment".

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Justice minister Rory Stewart questioned the basis of Mr Bercow's decision, telling the BBC: "It is a very, very unusual thing that he did".

Since being elected in 2009, he has angered many Tory MPs for his handling of business and treatment of MPs, but he also has many admirers, particularly on the Labour benches, who believe he has transformed the way Parliament holds the executive to account.

Twenty Conservative MPs rebelled against the government and their own party, including former cabinet ministers Michael Fallon, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Ken Clarke and Oliver Letwin.

Mr Bercow said he had consulted privately with the clerk and other officials, but did not confirm his decision was taken with agreement from Sir David.

May pulled a vote on the deal last month, admitting it would be defeated, and promised to seek "legal and political assurances" from the EU. "I've been in contact with European leaders...about MPs' (members of parliament) concerns".

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