Why Leave supporters celebrate Bercow’s ruling

John Bercow amendments
Mr Bercow cited a convention dating back to 1604 that a defeated motion could not be brought back in the same form during the course of a parliamentary session.

Leave voters rejoiced at the ruling knowing full well that withdrawal agreement was a bad deal. It should also kill any second referendum.

The Speaker’s decision to rule out a third meaningful vote unless the Government changes its approach to promoting Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal seems to most of us to be plain common sense since nothing appears to have changed from the last two motions.

By invoking the so-called 1604 rule, Bercow has thrown down the gauntlet to Theresa May and her Government. The only way forward for them is to either change the standing orders of the Commons – they do not have the majority for that – or end the Parliamentary session by calling a general election.

Erskine May
Sir Edward Phelips was the Speaker in 1604

“A motion or an amendment which is the same, in substance, as a question which has been decided during a session may not be brought forward again during that same session.”

The 1604 rule is a convention set out in Erskine May, the Highway Code of Parliament, that no motion can be put by the Government to the Commons twice in the same parliamentary session if the wording is exactly or substantially the same.

It gets the name 1604 rule because that was the first time it was issued by the then Speaker, Sir Edward Phelips, on April 2 that year. Phelips was a most interesting character known for his hatred of Roman Catholics – he was thought to be one of Guy Fawkes’s main targets in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

The 1604 rule is defined on page 397 of Erskine May: “A motion or an amendment which is the same, in substance, as a question which has been decided during a session may not be brought forward again during that same session.”

It continues: “Whether the second motion is substantively the same as the first is a matter for the chair.”

In his surprise ruling, he said he would not allow a third “meaningful vote” in the coming days on “substantially the same” motion as MPs rejected last week.

Consistency in rulings must apply

May’s withdraw deal would have made the UK a vassal state of the EU both remainers and leave supporters were opposed to the deal but Bercows ruling must also be constant therefore ruling out a third motion on a second referendum.

By Bercow ruling out another vote on the PM’s deal unless MPs are given a new motion that must also apply to the motion and question of a second referendum.

This motion and question of a second referendum as been presented twice and on both accusations been overwhelmingly rejected.

Theresa May has negotiated the withdrawal deal with the EU but it must also be agreed by parliament.

They have voted against it twice, and the government has been considering a third attempt to get it through Parliament.

When Bercow cited a convention dating back to 1604 that a defeated motion could not be brought back in ‘the same form during the course of a parliamentary session’. He effectively stopped the withdrawal agreement in its current state but more so he killed the so called people’s vote and the campaign for a second referendum within this parliamentary session

He said the second vote on the prime minister’s deal last week was “in order” as it was substantially different to the first, but any further votes must pass the “test” he set out to be allowed. A motion for a second referendum has been tabled twice and rejected on both occasions to suggest that this motion could ever be presented in this parliament as different from previous motions would take an act of dishonesty and a democratic perversion.

The same rule must apply to a second referendum.

Official Labour Amendment tabled by Jeremy Corbyn

Purpose: To secure sufficient time for Parliament to consider and vote on options to prevent a no-deal Brexit and that those options should include: (i) Negotiating changes to the deal so as to secure “a permanent customs union with the EU, a strong relationship with the single market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations, and dynamic alignment on rights and standards” in order to command a majority in the House of Commons; and (ii) Legislating to “hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons”.

Result: Defeated by 327 votes to 296 (majority: 31)

A second referendum has been presented twice to the house both being overwhelmingly rejected:

TIG MP Sarah Wollaston‘s Amendment seeking an Article 50 extension “for the purposes of legislating for and conducting a public vote” on whether to Leave or Remain in the EU – the fabled second referendum.

The amendment was defeated by 334 votes to 85 – a majority of 249.

Consistency must be applied.

The nation can now look forward to seeing this incompetent parliament pressured into action, doing what they should have been working towards for the last 3 years in delivering he result of the referendum and their manifesto promises to leave the EU.

With 11 days to go before the UK is due to leave the EU, ministers have warned of a looming “constitutional crisis”.

The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 29 March.

Article 50 extension would need major shift in UK politics

The EU have constantly insisted that for an extension to Article 50 the UK must present meaningful change. It now truly seems that Parliament is at an impasse and the only logical conclusion would be to dissolve Parliament and call a General election.

Brexit extension

The alternative and meaningful change the EU require for an extension can only be a general election parliament seem to have painted themselves into a procedural corner that only has one move to play.

Can we now move on from the byzantine court policy of plotting and political manoeuvring by all factions within parliament from the influence by those with vested interest outside of the sanctum of the nations democratic chamber and deliver both the result of the referendum and both major parties manifestos or dissolve parliament and call a:


#NoSecondReferendum #WeSupportJeremyCorbyn #JohnBercow #IStandWithBercow

Support Labour Heartlands



This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
This blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.
You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free.
The choice is entirely yours.