Politics, World, Europe

Parliament divided as it 'reflects' UK: Former speaker

John Bercow says UK to debate Brexit probably for next 15 years

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 06.11.2019
Parliament divided as it 'reflects' UK: Former speaker

LONDON

Former speaker of the House of Commons said Wednesday the parliament will remain divided until solution is created for Brexit issue as it "reflects the country" and "the country is divided". 

Speaking at an event with foreign reporters, Bercow said the U.K. will be debating Brexit "at least for the next five years, very probably for the next ten and very conceivably for the next 15".

"What we are dealing with at the moment is… the phase one of Brexit, the attempt to secure agreement to and legislative passage of the withdrawal agreement.

"There is then trade negotiations with the EU, trade negotiations with the rest of the world, security cooperation and …. other matters of public policy," he said.

Brexit hard to grasp

Bercow said that arguments on soft, hard or other kinds of Brexit versions continue and that it seems to him "it is a point that is so blindingly obvious that only an extraordinarily clever and sophisticated person would fail to grasp it".

Describing Brexit as the biggest mistake since the World War II, Bercow said he respects Prime Minister Boris Johnson but "Brexit does not help [the U.K.]".

"It is better to be part of the [EU] power bloc," he added.

Prorogation

Bercow said he was in Turkey in August when he heard the intention of the U.K. government to prorogue the parliament for five weeks, and he regarded it as "a constitutional outrage".

"It was not a proper way to operate, it was not respectful to the parliament".

He said he was speaking for the parliament at the time and the "parliament should not be treated this way".

Johnson government tried to prorogue parliament for 5 weeks in September but the prorogation was declared null and unlawful after a decision from country's supreme court.

Responding to a question on accusations directed to him of blocking progress in Brexit, Bercow also said "it was parliament" that had prevented Britain from leaving before now, not him.

Telling the press members that he is writing a book on his experience as the parliament speaker, Bercow said his book can be on shelves as early as in the first quarter of 2020.

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