John Bercow scuppers bid by Remain MPs to stop a No Deal Brexit

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Remainer MPs have failed in their latest bid to block a No Deal Brexit after John Bercow rejected their attempt to use departmental funding as leverage to stop the UK leaving the EU without an agreement. 

A cross-party group of MPs led by Labour's Dame Margaret Beckett and the Tory Europhile Dominic Grieve had tabled amendments which would have caused a major headache for the next prime minister. 

Their amendments would have prevented funding being given to a selection of government departments unless the House of Commons had agreed a Brexit deal or signed off on Britain leaving the EU without an agreement.

In simple terms if the amendment had passed it would have meant funding for a handful of departments being cut off if the next prime minister tried to push through a disorderly divorce from Brussels against the will of a majority of MPs. 

However, the amendments had made some would-be rebels feel queasy because of the prospect of departments potentially grinding to a halt as they ran out of money. 

The Remain-backing MPs were scuppered this afternoon after Mr Bercow said that he had not selected the amendments and therefore they would not get a hearing. 

It means anti-No Deal MPs will now have to go back to the drawing board to devise another method of ruling out Britain leaving the bloc without an agreement.  

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, declined to select the amendments today, forcing Remain-backing MPs back to the drawing board

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, declined to select the amendments today, forcing Remain-backing MPs back to the drawing board

Dominic Grieve, the Tory former attorney general, was one of the lead signatories on the plan designed to stop the next prime minister from going ahead with a No Deal Brexit

Dominic Grieve, the Tory former attorney general, was one of the lead signatories on the plan designed to stop the next prime minister from going ahead with a No Deal Brexit

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have kept the option of a No Deal Brexit on the table and the amendment would have reduced both of their room for manoeuvre depending on which one of them wins the race to take over from Theresa May. 

Downing Street had vehemently opposed the amendments to the funding settlements for departments, with the Prime Minister's official spokesman describing them as 'grossly irresponsible'. 

Meanwhile, Robert Jenrick, the Treasury Minister, suggested that there would be devastating consequences if the amendments had been passed. 

He told the BBC last night: 'You need to do this before the summer recess so time is short. 

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