Theresa May has shown her commitment to Global Recycling Day by wheeling out the same old Brexit deal to be reused again.
Last week MPs voted against the deal. And so far, the number of Tory MPs who have publicly declared they now intend to support the deal falls short of the 75 required to get it through.
But Mrs May, who has a history of ploughing on into certain defeat which would put Capt Oates to shame, has decided on a new tactic. A Downing Street insider said, ‘The Prime Minister’s plan is to ask the same question of the same people but, and this is the clever bit, on a different day.’
This afternoon John Bercow told MP’s he will not allow a third vote on the Brexit agreement if the motion remains ‘substantially the same.’ He told MPs that parliamentary conventions dating back to 1604 meant they could not be asked to vote on precisely the same subject twice in the same session.
Following Mr Bercow’s announcement, the Prime Minister quickly backtracked on her plan amid fears that Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has special dispensation to still exist in pre 1604 conditions, may be the only MP allowed a vote.
Mrs May’s official spokesman told reporters that the Prime Minister had not known the Speaker had planned to make a speech.
‘But I’m not surprised.’ He said. ‘She doesn’t even know she’s awake half the time.’
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a phrase which has been at the heart of Theresa May’s premiership. She’s reduced the size of her own majority, reused meaningless slogans, and now recycled her Brexit deal for a second time.
With just 11 days to go until the UK is due to leave the European Union, some experts have said Mr Bercow’s comments increase the chances of a no-deal Brexit.
It remains to be seen whether that fact registers with the Prime Minister before the deadline.