69

The Parliament doesn't have a single opinion. It probably has 650 different opinions (perhaps more!). Individual members may be hoping to achieve different things by an extension: Strong remainers, such as Jo Swinson, are hoping that the UK will eventually have to retract its article 50 request, and remain in the EU. Requesting another extension is the ...


61

Because the Fixed Term Parliaments Act law says so: if the motion is passed on a division, the number of members who vote in favour of the motion is a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats). It's not about who votes and who doesn't, it's a legal requirement that there is a minimum threshold ...


61

Is there any reason be it written or traditional that would permit Mr Blackford to stand across the line or is it simply permitted because nobody objects? There is a rule is that members cannot speak from the Aisle, which is delimited by the two red lines, and so presumably it's allowed simply because nobody is objecting. However, Blackford's intent here is ...


43

From Parliament's website. Four tellers are required for a division to take place: two representing those voting for the motion and two representing those voting against. Two tellers - one from each side - are present in each division lobby to ensure a fair count. The result is then reported back to the occupant of the Chair, or the Woolsack, in the ...


39

If you follow the evening votes on any live stream, you'll notice that Bercow has the voting lobbies locked 8 minutes after putting the question. Here's an excellent outline of how the UK parliament's division vote process works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_of_the_assembly#United_Kingdom In the House of Commons, the Speaker says "The Question ...


36

After the referendum there was no requirement to consult Parliament on any deal, the government could have simply agreed it with the EU and presented it as the only option on the table - take it or leave with no deal. Given that most MPs are strongly against a no-deal exit, it would likely have passed due to them having no other choice. However, thanks to ...


32

The mace is a symbol of the Queen's Authority. Its presence in the House of Commons signifies that the House has the Queen's authority to pass laws, etc. It is not unknown for an MP to make some kind of protest by grabbing it, but they always seem to look a bit foolish as a result, and it never accomplishes anything except for a bit of light-relief in the ...


29

Perhaps one thing you may be forgetting is that, when the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU started, the Conservative Party had a healthy majority in the house of commons. Therefore, there was some level of confidence in the UK Government that, as long as they could negotiate a deal with the EU that was acceptable to the Tory Party, they would be ...


28

Two things have to be approved by the UK parliament - the Withdrawal Agreement and the accompanying Political Declaration. Many of these potential changes would be to the contents of the political declaration, a document detailing the intentions for the coming negotiations. There is also a more political motivation, in that many MPs see these votes as a ...


27

The order authorising prorogation states that: It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Parliament be prorogued on a day no earlier than Monday the 9th day of September and no later than Thursday the 12th day of September 2019 to Monday the 14th day of October 2019 Hence prior to that date, Parliament may sit.


27

While individual positions within all the parties are muddled, each party's position is reasonably clear. Conservatives: Out on 31st October, Deal or No Deal, the article linked also says they will follow the law as per the Benn Act and ask for an extension. This is obviously contradictory. Labour: Extension to get a general election, renegotiate and then ...


25

If the Prime Minister resigns, then another MP is allowed to try to form a government. This has already been discussed as an option by the opposition, specifically to pass a motion of no confidence, to appoint an interim prime minister (probably a well-respected MP not currently in either government or shadow government). The new PM would then ask for an ...


25

The Commons agreed to the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which (if it eventually passes all its parliamentary stages and receives Royal Assent) will turn the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement into law. Second reading is a debate on the general principles of the bill, and it is possible to have concerns about a bill but still vote ...


24

Sinn Fein's purpose is a united Ireland. They don't regard British rule over Northern Ireland as legitimate, and swearing the Oath of Allegiance would be anathema to them. They'd be no more willing to do it than members of ISIS would be to swear allegiance to the USA. They are very serious about their motives, and do not want to be seen as cynical ...


23

Denis has given the formal answer, but there is also a political reason why the House of Lords will not block a deal. The House of Lords is unelected, and the Lords are aware that the existence of their institution is controversial. If, after years of Brexit drama, the House of Commons were to finally pass a Withdrawal Agreement, only to be rejected by the ...


21

The date on which the United Kingdom ceases to be a member state of the European Union can be extended, by a procedure described in section 3 of Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union: The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the ...


21

In the short term, to avoid No Deal and the consequent disasters predicted by Yellowhammer. There's no realistic time to do anything else, and as yet no consensus as to what to do. In the medium term? I refer the honorable gentleman to my previous answer. First of all, Johnson has to go. Either being replaced by an agreed replacement in a confidence vote, ...


21

The rule was introduced in 2001, following the 2000 election of Michael Martin. That election took place "by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each candidate". Due to the large number of candidates, the repeated ballots took 6 hours. The process was also politically charged, with party whips lobbying MPs to ...


19

No, but it nearly did. The Cooper-Letwin bill originally had language to that effect when it first passed in the Commons, but it got removed in House of Lords for precisely the reason you're asking about: they didn't want to end up with a no deal Brexit by accident due to possible overhead in Parliament. (At a more technical level, the other two answers so ...


18

Simply because continuing would reflect badly on him and by extension, Sinn Fein. By resigning the damage was limited. As an aside, as resignation is actually not possible, I note that he used the usual mechanism of accepting (just for the purposes of disqualification) a paid position from the monarch, something slightly amusing in context.


18

As he is not carrying a sword it is less of a concern I suppose: "Traditions in the Chamber: MPs are not allowed to speak in the space between two red lines running along the length of the Chamber. It has been claimed these lines are traditionally two swords’ lengths apart to prevent MPs duelling although there is no evidence to support this." (...


18

There is no precedent for requiring a supermajority in the commons - the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was the first time this was ever required. There is, therefore, no precedent for circumventing such a requirement in this way, but this is simply because it has never been necessary. This method of getting around the supermajority requirement may seem odd, ...


17

If the Speaker is seeking to continue in the position from the previous Parliament, then he or she runs as the Speaker rather than for a party (since the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act [2000] listed as "The Speaker seeking re-election"). Major parties don't run candidates against them, so there is not usually any meaningful opposition to ...


17

Yes. It is a flaw in the British system (I am British). On the other hand, most British voters are effectively disenfranchised, because their vote will never make a difference to the result: they live in seats where it is possible to predict which party will win without knowing anything about the candidates. A better system would involve appointing the ...


16

Paragraph 14 of Schedule 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 originally stated that: A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 20(4) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament. ...where section 20(4) allows the government to issue an SI to ...


16

It's not true. The rule would be completely unworkable; Opposition MPs would be unable to table any amendments to government bills, since they'll almost inevitably have voted against the second reading of the bill. All rules I've found regarding tabling of amendments simply refer to "members", making no other distinction. They might control the timings or ...


15

The December 10 incident was a protest that the UK parliament is no longer in control of crucial EU withdrawal negotations ("Brexit"). Several key votes have been suspended; the sitting government has been found in contempt of the chamber; and the prime minister, Theresa May, appears to have lost the confidence of her own MPs, creating an effectively ...


15

It must. And the House of Commons can basically overrule the House of Lords if the latter gets in its way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords#Legislative_functions The House of Lords debates legislation, and has power to amend or reject bills. However, the power of the Lords to reject a bill passed by the House of Commons is severely restricted ...


15

It should be noted that the indicative votes aren't principally a mechanism for negotiating with the European Council. They are a mechanism for MPs to negotiate with each other and with the Government (i.e. the executive). Indeed Amendment C, supporting continued membership of the EU customs union is sufficiently mistrustful of the latter to take the ...


15

How much power does Parliament actually wield in a situation like this? Could they force a recalcitrant Prime Minister to take actions he/she does not agree with using another method (i.e. legislation) Yes, see the Benn Act, which does exactly this. can the Prime Minister simply sit on their hands to avoid any actions, and suffer no real legal ...


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