Boris Johnson faces crunch final vote on his Queen’s Speech TODAY

John Bercow kills off Remainer MPs’ bid to hijack Boris Johnson’s final vote on his Queen’s Speech TODAY and force a second referendum

  • Final votes on Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech taking place today from 5pm
  • PM hopeful of victory if he can win backing of the DUP and former Tory rebels 
  • Liberal Democrats wanted to force a vote on holding a second referendum 
  • But move was scuppered by John Bercow who failed to select the amendment

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A Remainer bid to hijack Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech and force a second Brexit referendum was scuppered today after John Bercow blocked it. 

The Liberal Democrats had put forward an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal to be put to a national vote against the option to Remain. 

But the Commons Speaker decided not to select the amendment which means the Lib Dems and other pro-EU MPs will have to wait for their chance to try to bring about a so-called ‘People’s Vote’. 

The Lib Dems blamed the set back on Jeremy Corbyn, with a senior source suggesting that if the Labour leader had formally endorsed the amendment it would have been selected by Mr Bercow. 

The source said: ‘First 19 Labour MPs vote for Brexit and face no sanction, now Jeremy Corbyn refuses to back a People’s Vote in Parliament. Remainers are seeing whose side Jeremy Corbyn is on.’

MPs will vote on Mr Johnson’s blueprint for the country shortly after 5pm this evening. 

The Prime Minister will be hopeful of winning the vote if he is able to persuade the DUP and former Tory rebels to back his new domestic legislative agenda. 

The DUP and many ex-Tory MPs are opposed to the PM on Brexit but it is thought they could yet back the Queen’s Speech on the grounds there is nothing in it with which they substantially disagree. 

If Mr Johnson is able to get those two groups on board he should be able to secure a narrow victory.  

Boris Johnson, pictured in Downing Street yesterday, will today ask MPs to vote for his Queen’s Speech

Remainers led by Jo Swinson tried to hijack the PM's plans and attempt to force a second referendum on Brexit

Remainers led by Jo Swinson tried to hijack the PM’s plans and attempt to force a second referendum on Brexit

John Bercow, pictured in the House of Commons, as he told MPs he had not selected the Remainer amendment

John Bercow, pictured in the House of Commons, as he told MPs he had not selected the Remainer amendment

Before the introduction of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a Queen’s Speech vote was treated as a confidence matter. 

That meant that if a government lost the vote on its plans it would fall and a new administration would have to be formed or a general election would have to be held. 

But the FTPA changed the rules on the holding of elections which means that even if the government loses today it is expected to press on with the draft laws it has proposed regardless. 

One government source said that the legislation introduced by the coalition meant Queen’s Speech votes had been ‘rendered meaningless’. 

However, a defeat for Mr Johnson would be humiliating because it would show he has no chance of getting his legislative agenda through the Commons. 

A defeat would also harden Downing Street’s view that there must be a general election in the near future. 

The Lib Dems’ amendment would have approved the Queen’s Speech but then added a poison pill at the end of it. 

It stated: ‘At end add “but believe that your Government should make arrangements for a people’s vote in which the public will have the choice between the latest withdrawal agreement and remaining in the European Union”.’

A Lib Dem source told MailOnline this morning before Mr Bercow made his decision that the success of the amendment hinged on formal Labour support. 

The source said: ‘At every important Brexit vote the Lib Dems have given the chance to MPs to back a People’s Vote. 

‘It will only work if Labour, SNP and Tory moderates come towards us. The ball is in their court.’

Ms Swinson had written to Mr Corbyn to urge him to formally back the amendment but he failed to do so. 

The selection of amendments is entirely in the gift of Mr Bercow. The level of support for proposals is believed to be a major determining factor in the Commons Speaker’s decisions.