A 400 Year Old Precedent Just Ruined Brexit

Ivan Misiura | United States

Britain’s fight for independence from their European partnership has seen many different twists and turns since its initial consensus in 2016.  Before the nation can properly disassociate from the E.U., it must sort out how it will survive.  Britain shares many of the same laws and regulations as the E.U. which help the nation run. The massive undertaking of leaving a multi-state agreement calls for a stroke of originality and independence on the part of Britain to make it on its own. They must decide what to burn and what to keep.

Deal or No Deal?

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has presented a deal that would not only finalize the severing of obligatory ties with the E.U. but begin moving towards a new relationship with them. While an agreement was met with E.U. officials, the UK parliament has been giving the Prime Minster trouble for various reasons.

This deal has been presented in the House of Commons twice, and each time it has bared a crushing defeat. Suffering heavy damage from her own conservative party, May accuses the lawmakers of attempting a coup against her.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House, is dead set on blocking May’s path to Brexit. Quoting a precedent from 1604, Bercow argues that a motion that “has been decided during a session may not be brought forward again during that same session.” It is the Speakers position that this “strong and long-standing conviction” holds just as true today as it did over 400 years ago.

Disaster Looming

With less than 10 days left before the deadline of Brexit, this ruling took many officials in Europe by surprise. German Chancellor, Angela Merkle,  said on the matter, “I’ll concede that I wasn’t actively aware of the British Parliament’s rules of procedure from the 17th century, so I took note of this with interest yesterday.”

This deadlock in Parliament may result in a “no deal” Brexit.  This action and subsequent proceedings would likely be “an unprecedented act of economic self-harm”, as according to experts.

Prime Minister May fears that failure to pass her deal will prompt an extension to the deadline by the E.U. It appears that May was counting on the pressure of the deadline to get her deal through. She fears that an extension will turn into Britain’s permanent stay in the Union.

Potential Solutions

The Prime Minster’s team is jumping through hoops in an attempt to meet Bercow’s demands of a “much-changed deal”.  The team is also considering a more extreme option called a “prorogation of Parliament”. This is simply a break in the session which would allow any third party to pass the deal, thereby circumventing the precedent’s requirement.


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