UK parliament’s speaker promises “creativity” to ensure PM Johnson obeys Brexit delay law

Reuters | Sep 13, 2019 at 8:18 AM

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - House of Commons speaker John Bercow, has promised to use "creativity" to ensure Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not ignore a law which would prevent him taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal at the end of October.

Johnson has vowed to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, and has said he will not request a delay to that deadline, despite the legal requirement to do so if he has not secured parliament's approval for an exit agreement.

Bercow, who has been accused by the government of breaking parliamentary rules to help lawmakers try to force a delay to Britain's exit from the EU, said it was "astonishing" that anyone was entertaining the idea of not obeying the law.

"If we come close to being there I would imagine that parliament would want to cut off such a possibility and to do so forcefully," he said in a lecture to lawyers late on Thursday.

"If that demands additional procedural creativity in order to come to pass it is a racing certainty that this will happen and that neither the limitations of the existing rulebook nor the ticking of the clock will stop it doing so."

Bercow, who said this week he would step down as speaker of parliament's lower chamber next month after more than 10 years in the role, said Brexit would only come in a form endorsed by lawmakers. He said that not following the law would set a terrible example to society.