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In Britain, the House of Commons bids farewell to John Bercow


After ten years as a speaker, the Conservative MP has become a quasi-star. Not everyone will regret it in the House, especially on the Brexiters' side.

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This Thursday, October 31, in the United Kingdom, some have celebrated Halloween, others have welcomed the "non-Brexit Day" on Twitter, in reference to the deadline of the divorce with the European Union again missed. And still others in Wesminster said goodbye to the Speaker, the Speaker of the House of Commons. Because it was also the last day at the post of the thunderous John Bercow.

"I'll never forget it and I'll always be grateful" Speaker John Bercow thanks his family, who made an appearance ...

- BBCPolitics (@BBC Politics)

The day before, the 56-year-old Conservative MP received tribute from Boris Johnson, part of his government and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn during his last "question and answer to the Prime Minister". . "You say farewells even longer than those of Franck Sinatra," he still shot Mr. Johnson, a little acidic with regard to a figure who, in recent weeks, has contributed in his own way, to the failure of his strategy of a Brexit "do or die" for Halloween.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also After the vote in Parliament, a Brexit before Halloween seems impossible

It is true that after ten years at this prestigious but exposed position, the 157th speaker of the Commons has acquired a quasi-star rank. The power of his voice is obviously for many. These "orderrrr" sound, these "clear the lobby !! Have done much to interest the British public, but also the other Europeans, in the mysteries of the oldest Parliament still in operation in the world, and at the Brexit circus. With his silver hair in firecracker, his black toga systematically crooked, his gaudy neckties, he hung the light like no other in this Hall of Commons with formal decorum.


But not only: Mr. Bercow had a bite, a way, sometimes brutal to put the deputies in their place, ministers as "backbenchers" (literally, elected bank benches), which have largely contributed to its notoriety. Above all, he stood firm to maintain the prerogatives of Parliament, when began the guerrilla war between the May governments, then Johnson and the deputies on the Brexit. At the price, sometimes, a rather creative reading of the uses in the Commons.

On 21 October, for example, he refuses Mr Johnson a vote in principle on his recent divorce agreement from Brussels. Shaken by conservative politicians, he recalls that his decision is consistent with a convention dating back to the early seventeenth century, inscribed in the Erskine May, the Bible of Westminster uses. He had decided the same way in March, when he refused a third vote in principle to former Prime Minister Theresa May on its withdrawal agreement, on the grounds that it was exactly the same text as the second vote.

Source: lemonde

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