John Bercow admitted EU law still “trumps” UK national law during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday. The comment came in response to Kate Hoey asking if EU law has the power to overrule Parliament. During a point of order, the Brexiteer MP questioned: “The position would be constitutionally, if this statutory instrument comes before us, changing the date which we have already in our legislation was not accepted by this House – does EU law overrule our Parliament?” The Speaker replied: “As a matter of general practice it is well established that EU law trumps UK national law, I am not saying anything controversial there.
“As to the particular circumstances here, the answer is that I might well pronounce upon it but I would be extremely foolish to do so off the top of my head.
“Therefore I may be able to sate the curiosity of the honourable lady which will be widely shared across the House. But I am afraid it is not within my gift to do so now.
“Better to give a valid and informative answer later than an invalid, uninformative and potentially misleading answer now.”
Regarding Ms Hoey’s question, a Speaker’s Office spokesman clarified to Express.co.uk: “The Speaker’s response was correct. Because the UK would still be a member state, it would still be bound by EU law, but there would be significant domestic legal complications.”
Theresa May will address Tory MPs at the 1922 committee at 5pm tomorrow amid speculation she will use the meeting to announce the date of her resignation.
One MP said it was “certainly a possibility” the Prime Minister would inform the influential groups of backbenchers when she intends to step down.
The Prime Minister’s fragile authority suffered another blow last night when three more ministers resigned to back a Commons amendment enabling MPs to take control of Commons business to stage a series of “indicative votes” on alternatives to her deal.
They were among 30 Conservative MPs to defy the whips and support the cross-party amendment which was passed by 329 to 302 – a majority of 27 – in another humiliating reverse for Mrs May.
The defeat heaps further pressure on her position and could increase the chances of an early general election if MPs back plans for a softer Brexit which would be unacceptable to the Prime Minister or Tory Eurosceptics.
Mrs May is chairing a regular Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning where she is expected to discuss the Government’s next move with ministers.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said a third election in four years would be the logical conclusion of the Government losing control over the country’s departure from the European Union.
And his warnings were echoed by fellow ministers Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Alan Cairns who agreed an election was increasingly likely. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox told a meeting of the Cabinet that failure to pass Mrs May’s plan in the coming weeks would almost inevitably lead to an election.
A Cabinet insider said: “If we lose control of the process then we are heading for an election.
“We’ll either lose a confidence vote – in which case you could even get Corbyn without an election – or we will be forced to go for an election ourselves.”