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John Bercow is itching to stop Brexit - and there isn't much the government can do to get in his way -  Independent
When Charles I arrived in the chamber of the House of Commons in January 1642, armed guards in tow, to arrest a group of MPs for treason, it was the speaker who stood in his way. Instead of giving up the so-called traitors, speaker William Lenthall rebuked the King and reasserted the power of the Commons, telling Charles, "I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me."

The struggle for power between executive and legislature is not a new one. But the possibility of John Bercow taking the lead in the battle to stop Brexit offers the prospect of a modern-day stand-off, every bit as compelling as the one that took place in the months before the Civil War. It's not Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper or Ken Clarke who's best-placed to stop Brexit, but Bercow himself.
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So now will be the time for Bercow to push the nuclear button. I'm sure he will bend parliamentary procedure - or rip it up, depending on your viewpoint - to allow MPs to pass legislation requiring Johnson to seek an extension to Article 50, using a beefed-up version of the Standing Order 24 procedure, allowing for emergency debates. If there's a prospect of revoking Article 50 before 31 October, Bercow will ensure that there is time for such a law to pass.
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But today's events bring a more compelling prospect still. When parliament takes its five-week break - assuming MPs don't block this first - Bercow will relish the idea of leading a parliament in exile. He can play his final hand as speaker: opening up the doors of the Commons in the face of the prorogation, running his own chamber as an act of defiance against the government.

In doing so, we would face a constitutional crisis like no other seen in modern times, with a direct stand-off between the elected government on one side, and the speaker, standing for some (but by no means all), of the House of Commons on the other.

A second Rump Parliament?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:48:26 AM EST
So either Boris Johnson is intent on an unconstitutional process of implementing a no-deal Brexit, or John Bercow is intent on an unconstitutional process of preventing a no-deal Brexit, or Jeremy Corbyn is intent on an unconstitutional process of <something, TBD>. Maybe the system is broken?
by asdf on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(dusting off the ol' macro)
[System.Is.Broken Alert]
by Bernard on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 06:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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