Bercow Selects Graham Brady’s Amendment

After much speculation as to whether he would choose to deliberately ignore it, John Bercow has decided to call Graham Brady’s amendment on modifying the Irish backstop, as well as all the other major amendments that were expected including Yvette Cooper’s Brexit blocker. Even Bercow didn’t have the temerity not to call such a pivotal amendment – and one with Government support…

This is the order the amendments will be voted on, starting at 7pm:

  • (a) Jeremy Corbyn – calls on the PM to rule out no deal while, predictably, keeping all options on the table
  • (o) Ian Blackford – notes that the SNP don’t like Brexit, calls for no deal to be ruled out and Article 50 extended
  • (g) Dominic Grieve – suspends normal Parliamentary procedure on six dates in February and March allowing MPs to hijack Brexit
  • (b) Yvette Cooper – suspends normal Parliamentary procedure on 5th February to allow MPs to bring a Brexit-blocking Bill in
  • (j) Rachel Reeves – calls on the PM to seek an extension to Article 50
  • (i) Caroline Spelman – notes that Parliament rejects leaving without a deal
  • (n) Graham Brady – calls for the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border

Labour have so far indicated that they will back Grieve, Reeves and Spelman as well as Cooper. All of which are aimed at delaying and frustrating Brexit, the People’s Vote are even running sponsored ads on Twitter promoting them…

However, of all the amendments, only Grieve and Cooper have any legal effect as they would actively change the Standing Orders of the House, upending centuries of precedent. All the others, including Brady, are only statements of the Commons’ preferences. Brexiteers are not committing to back May’s deal by voting for Brady, but they will be bolstering the country’s negotiating position…


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Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”

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