Speaker’S Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee 3:33 pm, 18th March 2019

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I would say—preliminarily and off the top of my head—that, in all likelihood, the answer to his question is yes; I do think that a demonstrable change to the proposition would be required. For example, simply a change in an opinion about something would not itself constitute a change in the offer. I would have to look at the particulars and make an honest assessment of the circumstances, and perhaps of the competing claims made as to the veracity of one proposition, argument or another, but, fundamentally, for something to be different, it has to be, by definition, fundamentally different—not different in terms of wording, but different in terms of substance—and this is in the context of a negotiation with others outside the United Kingdom. That would be my initial feeling.