Speaker John Bercow loses voice ahead of Prime Minister’s Commons address
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has lost his voice on the day Boris Johnson is expected to set out his new Brexit proposals to MPs.
Bercow appeared to struggle to speak this morning while taking questions in the Commons.
“Order,” he said with a croak, provoking some laughter in the Commons.
“It won’t last long, don’t worry,” Bercow said.
Read more: Commons to debate Boris Johnson’s ‘final offer’ on Brexit
Conservative MP Peter Bone suggested the speaker refrain from chairing anymore EU debates to save his voice.
“The expression ‘dream on’ springs to mind” Bercow replied.
Later, the Prime Minister is due to address MPs about his new plans to replace the Irish backstop, the insurance policy negotiated by Theresa May to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.
Under Johnson’s plans, Northern Ireland will stay in the EU single market for goods for a limited time until 2025, but will leave the customs union along with the rest of the UK.
Read more: UK’s ‘Two borders, four years’ Brexit offer gets mixed backing
Customs checks will take place at special centres but not at the border, the UK has said.
EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has said he will examine the proposals “objectively”, while Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taioseach, has said said the new plan “did not fully meet the agreed objectives of the backstop”.