THOSE rogue elements in the House of Commons who appear to be doing their utmost to prevent Brexit from ever happening will, if successful in their tawdry efforts, be guilty of one of the greatest parliamentary betrayals of all time. They seem to be oblivious of the fact it was Parliament which ordained the referendum, and it was Parliament which vowed to honour the outcome of that referendum – a significant majority for those who want the UK to leave the EU.

It is to the eternal credit of Theresa May, who supported the Remain campaign and yet has throughout kept the faith of Parliament with the Brexiteers. Even though she has been assailed on all sides by those – including many in her own party – who take a different view, as well as suffering a veritable crop of ministerial resignations, she has stuck steadfastly to Westminster’s solemn undertaking.

It is quite possible that this sorry affair could cost her the Premiership. The front-page splash headline in the Sunday Times said ominously: “May In Meltdown”.

If Brexit does force her out, she can leave in the knowledge that she has faithfully kept the promise that Parliament made.

Meanwhile, the huge defeat of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal last week solved nothing. The future progress of Brexit events looks like becoming even more tortuous.

And why all this should have encouraged Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg to hold a presumably celebratory champagne party simply baffles me.

IT may sound like political heresy, but the sooner Parliament ditches the so-called democratic procedure in selecting future Speakers the better. Some years ago, Parliament abolished the centuries-old system of choosing a Speaker, and adopted a system whereby MPs voted for their preference on who the new Speaker should be.

Since the change, there have been three Speakers chosen in this way. Two of them have been disastrous. Michael Martin was effectively forced out of the chair over a long-running expenses scandal, and the present incumbent, John Bercow has been accused – with some justification, many MPs believe – with showing bias against the Tories.

It has also been hinted that when he does actually quit the chair he will not automatically go to the House of Lords – something which political historians say has never happened before.

Before these two was Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker, who was magnificent at the job. But that is only one out of three since the new system came into force. Before that, two or three grandees from the main parties would meet in what then were smoke-filled rooms and decide on the new incumbent.

It may not, on the face of it, have appeared to be the most democratic way of filling this vital role – but, my goodness, it worked. It meant that party political bias did not enter into the system, and this small cabal always seemed to produce the right person.

But has Parliament the guts to revert to the old system? I would like to think so, but I would not put my life savings on that happening.