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Brexit and the Speaker’s Tale

10 5 2

OXFORD – The Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons, John Bercow, is all over the news in the United Kingdom at the moment. And, as the Brexit crisis rumbles on, he has become something of a YouTube star across Europe.

Mar 4, 2019 Emmanuel Macron calls on EU citizens to focus on three goals ahead of the critical European Parliament election in May.

Feb 27, 2019 Raghuram G. Rajan argues that beggar-thy-neighbor policies cannot solve the problems facing declining communities.

Feb 11, 2019 George Soros argues that the EU cannot be saved without transforming its political party systems.

On March 18, Bercow revived a parliamentary rule from 1604 to prevent Prime Minister Theresa May’s government from bringing the same withdrawal agreement with the European Union back to Parliament after two earlier lopsided votes against it.

The Speaker’s position goes back much further even than 1604. But, because Bercow’s intervention has changed the trajectory of Brexit, the office has attracted more attention than it has in a very long time. Where did the Speaker come from, and why was the position created during England’s so-called “Good Parliament” of 1376?

Back then, the English parliament was already........

© Project Syndicate