SPEAKER Bercow’s ruling, preventing PM May making a third attempt to get her deal with the EU through the House of Commons, was a conscious attempt on behalf of the ‘Remain’ majority in Parliament to make sure that even May’s semi-break with the EU, including its notorious northern Irish ‘backstop’, never gets through.
However, in the course of the debate Bercow admitted that May would be allowed to make a third attempt to get her deal through.
Labour MP for Leeds Central, Hilary Benn, asked Bercow: ‘Does your statement suggest in any way, that in order for a third meaningful vote to not fall foul, that it would require further changes to be agreed with the European Union, in order for such a motion to be in order rather than not in order.’
The Speaker replied: ‘In all likelihood the answer to his question is yes.’ In other words, the Remainers scenario is that when May returns to Brussels tomorrow, the way to obtain the Speaker’s permission to move her deal would be to have it amended to include a full indefinite Customs Union, and an alignment with the Single Market – as the Labour Party requires.
It was also made clear by the Speaker that his ruling, dredged up from a 1604 precedent when James 1st ruled through ‘divine right’, could have some exceptions.
Mark Francois, the Rayleigh and Wickford Tory MP, asked: ‘May I ask whether this principle applies in other contexts as well? For instance, the House voted a few weeks ago on what became known as the Cooper-Boles amendment to overturn Standing Order 14(1), essentially to take control of the Order Paper for a day. That was rejected.
‘Last week, the House then voted against what became the Benn amendment, which was, I would argue, substantially similar to the original Cooper-Boles amendment to take control of the Order Paper and override Standing Order 14(1).
‘Now you on that occasion, Sir, judged that it was permissible to ask this question because it was not exactly the same as the first one. May I offer you a thought that if there were to be a third variant of that, if it were to be substantially the same, then, to be consistent, Sir, you would have to rule that out, too?’
The Speaker responded: ‘The answer is that everything depends on context and circumstance . . . He is absolutely entitled to raise that point and I would indeed have to weigh up very carefully whether a proposition was in fact the same or substantially the same or whether it could credibly be contended that it was different.’
No doubt the same issue will arise again when the anti Brexiteers move once again for a ‘second referendum’, which was defeated last Thursday by 334-85, with Labour abstaining.
The essence of the current political crisis is that the 2016 referendum result was opposed by the UK ruling class of bosses and bankers and by the vast majority of its parliamentary servants.
The referendum result demanded a political revolution – that the UK detach itself form the EU, its Single Market, Customs Union and its International Court of Justice.
The ruling class and its servants are determined to remain in – as we have seen. What is required to defeat this sabotage is a social revolution of the working class to see the referendum result through.
Millions of workers must take to the streets to demand a workers government, and that the UK must leave the EU on March 29.
The working class must use its industrial and political strength to stop the country, shut down the parliament, and bring in a government of workers councils that will expropriate the bosses and bankers to bring in a planned socialist economy to satisfy the requirements of millions of workers and middle class people who have been suffering permanent austerity since 2008.
Such a mass movement will ally itself with the workers of Europe, who are in a battle with EU capitalism every day, to bring down the EU and bring in a Socialist United States of Europe. That this will be a huge leap forward is obvious.
The growing world crisis of capitalism makes it the only way forward for the working class.