In response to Theresa May's statement, the Speaker of the House John Bercow said that the decision to postpone the 'meaningful vote' has been leaked to the media in advance, before the parliament was advised.
"Halting the debate… will be thought by many members of this House to be deeply discourteous."
Bercow said that a more democratic procedure would be for the PM to put the delay to a vote, rather than the PM making a unilateral decision. His subtle remark comes days after Theresa May's government was found guilty of the contempt of the Parliament — a first for a British Cabinet in modern history.
The PM's spokesperson however confirmed that the decision to delay the ‘meaningful vote' will not be put to a Commons vote.
The final stages of the Brexit negotiations have rocked the relationship between the government and the House of Commons, consisting of MPs representing the British public. The House has challenged and won a battle with the government over the transparency of Brexit talks and the Cabinet's accountability to the Parliament, which led Mrs. May to concede and admit on Monday:
"I am clear from what I have heard in this place and from my own conversations that these elements do not offer a sufficient number of colleagues the reassurance that they need. I spoke to a number of EU leaders over the weekend and in advance of the European Council I will go to see my counterparts in other member states and the leadership of the Council and the Commission. I will discuss with them the clear concerns that this House has expressed."
May failed to enlist the MPs' support on the issue of Irish border 'backstop', with her coalition partners — the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland — at the forefront of the opposition.
Just finished a call with the Prime Minister. My message was clear. The backstop must go. Too much time has been wasted. Need a better deal. Disappointed it has taken so long for Prime Minister to listen.— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) December 10, 2018
It's time to start listening.— Nigel Dodds (@NigelDoddsDUP) December 10, 2018
The Backstop must go. pic.twitter.com/m2B7j6uWon
The time frame of yet another May's Euro-tour — meetings with EU leaders, who are reportedly open to discussions on the backstop — was questioned by the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn and other MPs.
.@jeremycorbyn presses Theresa May in the House of Commons to say when the deal will be presented to Parliament. He says bringing back this same botched deal either next week or in January will not change its fundamental flaws and the deeply held objections. #BrexitVote— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) December 10, 2018
The most notable part of this PM statement so far is what is absent from it — a date for a rescheduled vote. Is she simply trying to run down the clock? Unacceptable, if so.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 10, 2018
PM is in denial. Her deal is dead. A European tour isn't going to save it.— Mary Creagh (@MaryCreaghMP) December 10, 2018
Labour MP Dennis Skinner addressed the PM and accused her of handing over the power to "the people she is going to negotiate with over there in Europe."
"She looks very weak and she is. The power that they want is to be able to demonstrate to every other country that might be thinking of getting out of the EU that that's what Britain is doing… Mrs. Thatcher had a word for it, what she [Theresa May] has done today? F-R-I-T. She is frit," Mr. Skinner said.
WATCH | Yes, Dennis Skinner! The anger in his voice is shared by every Brexiteer in the country as our prime minister stands by her Brexit sell-out:— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) December 10, 2018
"Mrs Thatcher had a word for it. What she's done today? F-R-I-T. She's frit!"
🙋♂️ Support us at https://t.co/iICfFb8qqg pic.twitter.com/YG0iH1cWic
Amid criticism and laughter heard from the MP benches on Monday, the PM reaffirmed the determination to leave the EU on March 29.
Meanwhile, as more uncertainty was added to the future of Brexit negotiations, the UK economy reacted according with the pound dropping to its lowest in 18 months.