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Brexit 1) “Constitutional crisis” as Bercow blocks vote on the deal

“John Bercow has plunged Britain into a “major constitutional crisis” after banning Theresa May from holding a third vote on her Brexit deal, the Solicitor General has said. The Speaker – a Remain voter who has faced repeated accusations of anti-Brexit bias – invoked a convention last used 99 years ago to stop the vote taking place. His unexpected announcement was greeted with fury in the Commons, as ministers accused him of being “interventionalist” and failing to “respect” MPs. With just 10 days to go until Brexit day, Mrs May is weighing her options to get round the Speaker’s ruling. The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland, said the decision would have “huge reverberations” for the Brexit process and said the Prime Minister could now ask the Queen to cut short the current Parliamentary session and start again.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A look back at Bercow’s past outrages – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • The Commons could change its Standing Orders to overturn the ruling – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexiteer “hardliners” welcome the decision – The Times
  • Take the chance to get off the hook, Labour MPs tell the PM – The Times
  • Nine month extension is most likely outcome – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • Minister likens The Speaker to Humpty Dumpty – Daily Express

Comment

  • The Speaker had the air of a psyched-up vandal – Quentin Letts, The Times
  • The twitchy windbag was at his despotic worst – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail
  • Latest twist in the drama – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Bercow’s bombshell – Leader, The Times
  • Speaker’s most destructive abuse of power yet – Leader, The Sun
  • The deal is not dead yet – Nicki de Costa, Daily Telegraph
  • Blame May, not Bercow, for this catastrophe – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • The vanity of one deluded man must not be allowed to override the wishes of 17 million people – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Bercow’s ruling has breathed new life into the people’s vote – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

>Today: Columnist Henry Newman: Bercow has demonstrated he will do anything to frustrate Brexit. So it’s time for MPs to smell the coffee.

>Yesterday

Brexit 2) Cabinet to meet to consider options

“Prime Minister Theresa May will meet her cabinet later as she considers her next steps on Brexit, after her plans were thrown into doubt by the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow. Mrs May had been considering a third vote on her Brexit deal, which has already been rejected twice. But in a surprise ruling on Monday, Mr Bercow ruled out another vote, unless substantial changes are made first. One minister said the government was now looking at its options. Nadhim Zahawi, Children and Families’ minister, told BBC Newsnight that one of the options was for MPs to vote on whether to ignore the 400-year-old convention that Mr Bercow had cited in making his ruling. Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng earlier told the Commons the government was now hoping to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit.” – BBC

  • EU could hand May lifeline with formal offer of new Brexit date – The Guardian
  • The Civil Service is trying to sink Brexit – Anonymous civil servant, Daily Telegraph
  • The UK civil servants under a fog of uncertainty – The Guardian
  • Time is running out – Financial Times

>Today: ToryDiary: What will the EU do now?

Brexit 3) Wallace: I dislike the Withdrawal Agreement, but would vote for it to avoid being stuck in the EU

“Though I would like to be able to hang up my sword, 13 years after co-founding the Better Off Out campaign with the support of just one MP, that evidently will not be allowed. Forced to choose between fighting to get us out of a bad deal, but from outside the EU, or restarting the 40-year battle to leave from scratch, I opt for the former. After the shameful performance of so many MPs, I expect that if we stay in they will do stop at nothing to lock us in forever. The cost – economic and democratic – would be vast. Some people will be aggrieved by my choice. I feel that way about having to make it. Eurosceptics should exact a price for being forced into such a corner. Those who made this happen – the Prime Minister, as well as those Cabinet ministers and MPs who promised one thing then did another – should be turfed out. The Speakership should be given to someone who values it. Eurosceptics must harshly scrutinise our own errors which allowed us to be outmanoeuvred. And the campaign to escape the deal should begin on day one.” – The i

  • Perhaps no Tory leader could have done better, but few would have done worse – Robert Shrimsley, Financial Times
  • Merriman and Sandbach consider backing a second referendum – The Sun
  • Kawczynski says the mood in his constituency has changed – Daily Express
  • Better to roll the dice, fail, than wreck the EU from within than nationally self-mutilate ourselves by passing May’s pathetic deal – Sherelle Jacobs, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Interview: Davies & McVey. They back May’s deal. “I don’t try to persuade Esther that she shouldn’t do something, and she doesn’t persuade me that I should do something.”

Brexit 4) Poll shows more support for “no deal” than for a delay

“Nearly half of the British public is confident that the UK will ultimately thrive if it leaves the EU without a deal, according to a new poll. The exclusive ComRes survey for The Daily Telegraph found that 46 per cent of adults think leaving without a deal would “briefly cause some uncertainty but ultimately work out OK”, compared with 40 per cent who support extending Article 50. Three in 10 adults (30 per cent) think leaving the EU without a deal on March 29 will be the best possible outcome, according to the poll, compared with more than two in five who disagree (43 per cent). ComRes also asked on behalf of Leave Means Leave if taking no deal off the table has weakened our negotiating hand. Half (50 per cent) say yes, and 24 per cent no.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “No-deal” Brexit could mean £130m hit to research budgets – The Guardian
  • The Swiss people are teaching us how to deal with an EU trade ultimatum  – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

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