Theresa May will chair cabinet this morning, where her ministers will discuss how to respond to John Bercow’s surprise ruling yesterday about not allowing another Commons vote on her Brexit deal unless it changes significantly. There is no consensus yet on quite how significant this decision will turn out to be – Brexiters and remainers have both welcomed it on the grounds that it boosts their respective causes, and they can’t both be right – but we have had a preliminary response from Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, who has been giving interviews this morning.
Barclay said it was now “more unlikely” that there will be another vote on May’s Brexit deal this week, before the EU summit starts on Thursday.
But he also said the government was still committed to getting May’s deal through parliament. He said:
What we need to do is secure the deal. This is the only deal on the table. The EU is clear it is the only deal on the table. Business need the certainty of this deal and it is time that parliament comes together and gets behind it.
And he also said that Bercow’s decision would not absolutely rule out a new meaningful vote. He explained:
What the speaker has said in his ruling is there needs to be something that is different. You can have the same motion but where the circumstances have changed.
So we need to look at the details of the ruling, we need to consider that in the terms of earlier rulings that don’t particularly align with yesterday’s.
The fact a number of members of parliament have said that they will change their votes points to the fact that there are things that are different.
On the basis of what Barclay is saying, it may well be that the main effect of Bercow’s ruling will be to kill of all prospect of a third meaningful vote this week (MV3), followed by an MV4 next week, leaving instead just one new meaningful vote before the scheduled exit day on Friday next week.
I will post more from Barclay’s various interviews this morning soon.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Theresa May chairs cabinet.
9.30am: Unemployment figures are published.
10am: Robert Chote, the chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the spring statement. My colleague Graeme Wearden will be covering it on his business live blog.
11.30am: Donald Tusk, president of the European council, meets Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, in Dublin. Afterwards they will hold a press conference.
12pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.
Also at some point today Jeremy Corbyn will be meeting the Wesminster leaders of the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the Greens to discuss alternative approaches to Brexit. A meeting had been planned for yesterday, but had to be re-arranged.
As usual, I will also be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web, but I expect to be focusing mostly on Brexit. I plan to post a summary at lunchtime and another when I wrap up, at around 6pm.
You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe round-up of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.
If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
I try to monitor the comments BTL but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply ATL, although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.