POLL: Is Commons Speaker John Bercow right to voice his own views on Brexit?

Speaking out: John Bercow at the Bingham Lecture. Is he right to make his opinions known?

John Bercow, the soon-to-retire Speaker of the House of Commons, is being criticised for voicing his opposition to Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit.

Critics are saying he should be impartial and has no right to attack the prime minister and his policies.

Supporters say it is important for him to stand up for Parliamentary sovereignty.

Now he has said he may bend Parliamentary rules – in response to efforts by BoJob and his advisers to go around them.

And he has voiced support for the idea of a written UK constitution, to ensure that the kind of shenanigans we have seen from the Johnson administration (and the May ministry before it) cannot happen again:

John Bercow has threatened Boris Johnson that he will be prepared to rip up the parliamentary rulebook to stop any illegal attempt by the prime minister to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October.

In a direct warning to No 10, the Speaker of the House of Commons said he is prepared to allow “additional procedural creativity” if necessary to allow parliament to block Johnson from ignoring the law.

“If we come close to [Johnson ignoring the law], I would imagine parliament would want to cut off that possibility … Neither the limitations of the existing rulebook or ticking of the clock will stop it doing so,” he said, delivering the annual Bingham lecture in London. “If I have been remotely ambiguous so far, let me make myself crystal clear. The only form of Brexit that we have, whenever that might be, will be a Brexit that the House of Commons has explicitly endorsed.”

He also proposed a written constitution to stop “executive malpractice or fiat”, which could potentially have avoided the constitutional crisis that the UK has found itself in over Brexit.

Simple question: Do you think Mr Bercow is right to speak out? Or should he keep his mouth shut?

[polldaddy poll=10407715]

Source: John Bercow: I’ll stop Boris Johnson breaking the law on Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

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No Comments

  1. stevedavidh September 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Here’s a link to John Bercow’s full speech at this years Bingham Lecture, put the time aside (1hr 38mins) and watch it in full

    • Mike Sivier September 14, 2019 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Yes. See my article.

  2. Mark C September 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I think he’s absolutely right to speak out, because he’s defending parliamentary sovereignty and democracy at a very dangerous time from those who would subvert and distort such things. These are extenuating circumstances and I think history will prove that he’s on the right side of it, rather than standing meekly by and crying impartiality

  3. lyndaguestellie September 13, 2019 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Yes ,,, the EU liked Labors proposal in leaving deal so did we

  4. wildswimmerpete September 13, 2019 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Yes, speak out. And yes, use any means to stymie Fuehrer Johnson.

  5. Jenny Hambidge September 13, 2019 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    His opposition to Johnson is not about “no deal brexit ” but is about opposition to a PM who is proposing to ignore Parliament’s ruling on a no deal Brexit.

  6. Zippi September 15, 2019 at 12:54 am - Reply

    You have asked two questions, here, Mike. To the first; is he right to voice his own views on “Brexit”? No. How can he be seen to be impartial? To the second; is he right to criticise attempts to subvert Parliamentary democracy? Aye. One might say that it is his duty although, I think that, perhaps, he should have done it in Parliament, rather than media. This, from the Parliament website: “Speakers must be politically impartial. Therefore, on election the new Speaker must resign from their political party and remain separate from political issues even in retirement. However, the Speaker will deal with their constituents’ problems like a normal MP.” That is interesting; “even in retirement”? That, I most certainly did not know.

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