As Brexit turns into a farce with the most recent stalemate in the House of Commons, its speaker John Bercow has become probably the only politician who has gained admiration during the painful and never-ending divorce from the European Union.
The House of Commons leader has recently found a worldwide fame thanks to his invitation to “order” for MPs during generally heated Brexit debates.
When German newspaper Tagesschau published a video on Bercow’s interventions in the parliament, it was shared by more than 300,000 in a very short time.
It reported that Bercow has been inviting British lawmakers to “order” and “calm” since 2009 and the video showed him inviting them to “Zen”- a state of quietness via meditation.
The 55-year-old speaker’s best known line, as it is viewed by millions across the world thanks to televised sittings, is “ordeeeeer” (order), but his very high level of command of English language and his telling off disorderly MPs with sarcastic but joking way also add in to his popularity.
The speaker in the House of Commons traditionally has got a right to stop anybody, including the prime minister, while they are speaking and his interventions generally comes when a speech is not heard due to hubbub.
Bercow often says whoever is speaking at that moment “should be and will be heard.”
His interventions are paramount to the order of speeches in the House where the ruling party MPs and the opposition lawmakers are separated by a distance of two swords. The days of swords can be long gone but verbal interruptions by anyone are swiftly dealt with by Bercow.
However, Bercow’s actions are not always received in admiration. He also receives occasional criticism for his political interventions in the House.
His selection of amendments to motions brought forward by the government is found controversial at times. His selection of an amendment by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve came under fire by the government and pro-Brexit MPs as the amendment cleared the way for a stronger say on Brexit for the parliamentarians and gave MPs the right to have the final say on any deal.
As the MPs rejected May’s deal 3 times so far, some think it is Bercow’s doing as he permitted Grieve’s amendment to get voted. The speaker has got the right to select amendments which can be voted in the House.
Bercow certainly became one of the most spoken-about speakers when he banned a probable address to the House of Commons by US President Donald Trump during a visit last year.
He told MPs that "opposition to racism and sexism" were "hugely important considerations," when he vetoed Trump’s speech.
- Brexit fun
Brexit is surely a serious matter for British public and it is not still clear what will happen next in this latest episode of EU divorce, after MPs repeatedly voted down May’s withdrawal deal and the whole thing has plunged into a new low, but it is a concept that also creates its own humor.
The word Brexit was quickly coined up from a merger of words “Britain” and “exit” as soon as the referendum promises were made to public by the Conservatives years ago and it means the country’s exit from the EU.
It was explained later as “a state of confusion and embarrassment diagnosed in Britain in 2016,” in one of the lighter definitions written on a placard carried last weekend’s anti-Brexit march in which more than 1 million people filled the London streets.
“Brexit – when Britain got drunk and accidentally unfriended Europe on Facebook,” Scottish comedian Leo Kearse defined it in one of his shows.
One of Britain’s most famous scientists Stephen Hawking who passed away last year refused to participate in Brexit problem.
“I deal with tough mathematical questions every day, but please don’t ask me to help with Brexit,” he told May during an award acceptance speech.
One of English football’s most celebrated stars, Gary Lineker, said Brexit could take up to 10 years.
“That’s not fair, most the people who voted for it will be dead by then,” he joked during a TV program.
Whether British public will be enjoying or damning the outcome of Brexit process is still to be seen, the uncertainty looks like it is to continue for a little more time.
The U.K. voters had decided to leave the bloc in a 2016 referendum.
By Tayfun Salci in London