Theresa May looked set to seek a long extension to the U.K.’s European Union membership after the House of Commons speaker torpedoed her plan to win Parliamentary approval for her deal to leave the bloc.
Officials privately accused Speaker John Bercow of over-reaching his powers to help pro-EU politicians deliver a softer divorce and said another vote on May’s agreement is now unlikely before Thursday’s European Union summit, when the prime minister will have to ask for a delay.
May was given no warning of Bercow’s announcement Monday afternoon, in which he effectively banned her from bringing her deal back to Parliament for a third time unless it changes significantly. Her office issued a terse statement saying the move “requires proper consideration,” but the anger among government officials was palpable.
Bercow set a new test for the prime minister to meet if she wants to ask Parliament to vote again on the agreement she spent two years negotiating with the EU. The deal must be “fundamentally different,” he said, and “in all likelihood” that means something new must be agreed with the bloc.
The problem for May is that negotiations have finished and time has almost run out before the U.K. is due to leave the EU on March 29. The pound fell as Bercow spoke, before paring losses. [...]
Full article on Bloomberg
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