John Bercow has said MPs have the “right” to try and block Brexit when the exit deal faces a vote in the Commons.
The Speaker said on Wednesday evening it was not a “constitutional fact” that MPs had to agree to Brexit just because the ‘Leave’ campaign won the referendum.
“My sense is there will be a lot of people in parliament who will want to be able to vote on the deal,” he said during a Q&A session in the Houses of Parliament.
“There will be some members of parliament who say: ‘I want to be able at the end of all this if I’m not satisfied, to say No, to try to persuade other members of parliament to say No, and to hope that No might delay Brexit or prevent Brexit.’”
According to Politico, Bercow added: “Do they have a right to argue that point of view? They absolutely do.”
The Speaker angered Brexiteer Conservative MPs in February when he revealed he voted ‘Remain’ in the referendum. “Personally, I voted to remain. I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,” he told students at Reading University.
However Bercow did support holding the vote in the first place. As HuffPost UK reported, he believed the UK’s membership of the EU would be “fundamentally insecure” without a referendum.
He said in 2014 he believed the EU “matter needs to be laid to rest” and a referendum would achieve that.
This morning aa ‘Leave’-supporting aide to Philip Hammond has said divisions between the chancellor and Tory Brexiteers are down to “temperament”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Kwasi Kwarteng insisted his boss is “clear-eyed” and has a “very realistic view” of the Brexit negotiations after attacks on Hammond were ramped up when he refused to spend cash preparing for Britain to quit the EU without a deal.
The Tory MP also dismissed claims that the Chancellor is at odds with Theresa May after the prime minister struck a different tone on Britain’s readiness to walk away from talks with Brussels.