John Bercow vows to stop Boris Johnson from 'disobeying' the law on Brexit

John Bercow delivered the annual Bingham lecture in London, vowing to prevent the prime minister from breaking the law on Brexit. Picture: PA
John Bercow delivered the annual Bingham lecture in London, vowing to prevent the prime minister from breaking the law on Brexit. Picture: PA
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The Commons Speaker John Bercow said he would 'rip up the existing parliamentary rule book' to stop Boris Johnson from acting illegally by forcing through a no-deal Brexit.

John Bercow directly warned Boris Johnson that, if necessary, he is prepared to allow “additional procedural creativity" in the Commons to prevent him from illegally forcing the UK out of the EU without a deal on October 31.

The house of Commons Speaker further promised he would challenge ministers who are threatening to ignore legislation, and compared a departure from the EU without the backing of MPs or an extension in order to do so nobly and as soon as possible with a bank robber excusing their crime by giving the stolen cash to charity.

In a dramatic intervention, Mr Bercow referenced to the so-called Benn Act, which aims to prevent a no-deal Brexit by forcing the PM to ask the EU for a delay, and said this would signify the only possible Brexit outcome is one voted on by parliament.

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During a speech in London at the Sixth Annual Bingham Lecture last night, the former Tory argued it was “astonishing” that anyone has entertained the idea that the PM could disobey the law, referring to ministers who have suggested they will "test" the law out before enacting it.

“It would be the most terrible example to set to the rest of society,” he added.

He went on to say: “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.”

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Mr Bercow announced earlier this week that he plans to stand down at the end of October, two weeks after parliament is due to return from the current prorogation.

Boris Johnson took several blows this week, including the verdict from Edinburgh's Court of Session declaring that his advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed was unlawful, forcing the prime minister to deny misleading the Queen.