Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers new blow

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen at Downing Street in London Britain

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen at Downing Street in London Britain

Theresa May's hopes of finally passing her Brexit deal were dealt a fresh blow on Monday when it emerged that the British prime minister will not be allowed to put the agreement before MPs for a third time this parliamentary session unless there are fundamental changes to it.

The pound rose by 0.2% in early trading local time, keeping its head above water at the $1.32 level, where the currency trade seems to stabilise in between volatile swings.

If she cannot get the deal through, May could seek a long delay to Brexit, but this will need the agreement of all remaining 27 European Union countries.

"If the Government wishes to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same nor substantially the same as that disposed of by the House on March 12, this would be entirely in order", said Mr Bercow.

"What the Speaker has said in his ruling is there needs to be something that is different. This clearly increases the chance of a no deal Brexit but from a legal perspective, the extension can be granted right up until the deadline".

Using a centuries-old Parliamentary rule, Mr Bercow said the house could not be asked to vote on the agreement again without "substantial" changes to what was on offer.

Opposition centers on a measure created to ensure there is no hard border between the UK's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland after Brexit.

"If there is no decision, the date of March 29 comes and then it's a 'no-deal, '" said French European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau.

The British government was not forewarned of Mr Bercow's statement, Mrs May's spokesman said after it was announced that the same Brexit deal could not be tabled for another vote.

Ms Danielle Haralambous, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told Reuters: "Mr Bercow's statement was unprecedented and has more significantly limited the government's room for manoeuvre, making it hard to see how Mrs May can still hope to get her deal approved".

The EU's most powerful leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, warned the clock was running down, saying: "I will fight until the last minute of the time to March 29 for an orderly exit".

"The European Parliament and Council have approved almost all the contingency measures and are working on the two last measures that still need to be adopted, namely on short-term visas and the EU budget for 2019".

One cabinet source said, "the current position is untenable - if they just accept a long extension the party will split".

With no divorce agreement yet ratified, the United Kingdom parliament voted last week for May to seek a delay of the exit date.

"This is a question for the British authorities", she said.

A minister close to the PM tells me the cabinet expects the EU to grant the United Kingdom a Brexit delay of nine months - which would of course require the United Kingdom to participate in May's elections to the European Parliament.

Mrs Merkel said that current events were in a "state of flux", adding that European Union leaders will try to react to whatever the United Kingdom proposes.

The pound fell against the dollar today after Speaker John Bercow ruled out a third meaningful vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Other EU member states were discussing two main options: a delay of two to three months, if May persuades them she can clinch a deal at home, or much longer if May accepts that radical reworking is needed.

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