The effect of his ruling is that the prime minister cannot come back to the Commons with the same motion that was rejected by MPs by 149 votes last week. There needs to be something new.
Last week’s motion was in order, he said, because it did contain new elements.
One was Attorney Geoffrey Cox’s latest legal ruling, although to the prime minister’s despair there was very little new in it.
There was also the latest agreement between Mrs May and Jean-Claude Juncker in their late-night talks in Strasbourg, at which – we’re told – his chain-smoking was to blame for her croaky voice the next day.
This week, so far, there is nothing new on offer from the government, at least until the PM goes back to Brussels for the latest EU summit and attempts to win another pledge or agreement to put to MPs.
In his reply to Hilary Benn, who chairs the Brexit select committee, after his ruling, Mr Bercow said “in all likelihood” it would require a renegotiated deal with the EU, not an update of the attorney general’s legal advice.
Let’s not forget that at their late-night news conference in Strasbourg Mr Juncker told the prime minister: “In politics, sometimes you get a second chance. There will be no third chance.”
So there will almost certainly be no votes this week.
A relief to many, no doubt, but the latest delay is yet a further example of Jeremy Corbyn’s dreadful cliché, “kicking the can down the road”.
But the latest delay does give the prime minister and her allies more time to win over enough waverers, irreconcilables and serial malcontents on the Conservative benches – and the Democratic Unionists, of course – and win the vote.
Who knows, perhaps the hapless Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay, who last Thursday told MPs “I commend this motion to the House” before immediately scuttling off into the No lobby to vote against it, might actually vote for the government motion next time.
The ruling also raises the question of whether Mr Bercow will allow further motions on a second referendum, a customs union and other varieties of Brexit if they have already been debated and voted on.
Over the weekend, there was a further trickle of Tory Brexiteers claiming they were ready to support the government in the next vote.
But only a trickle, nowhere near a flood, and nowhere near enough to make much difference.
Esther McVey, who resigned from the cabinet in November in protest against the prime minister’s Brexit deal, confirmed her support in an interview on Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News.
Back too came Charlie Elphicke, MP for the Brexit frontline port of Dover, although he did say he would support the deal if Mrs May stood down before the next stage of EU negotiations.
Of symbolic significance, but probably no more than that, the former Northern Ireland first minister Lord Trimble, who threatened court action against the deal, backed the changes to the Irish backstop.
Also merely symbolic, probably, was the U-turn by one the most vocal critics of the PM’s deal, former chancellor Lord Lamont, who wrote in a newspaper article that history would never understand Tory MPs if they killed off Brexit.
But all these switchers remain in a minority of Brexiteers.
In a bizarre twist, David Davis, the former Brexit secretary who voted for the PM’s deal last week, said he might not vote for its next time.
And Boris Johnson, who critics will claim is motivated by malevolence and ambition – and not necessarily in that order – in his diehard opposition, confirmed in his Daily Telegraph column that the change he really wants is in the Tory leadership.
In the exchanges after the Speaker’s ruling, the Tory deputy chairman James Cleverly observed that if MPs had known last week’s vote was the last chance they might have voted differently.
Towards the end of those exchanges, Mr Bercow did emphasise he wasn’t “closing the door” on the matter and could make further rulings.
He declined the offer, made by Tory MP Mark Pritchard in the final point of order raised, to advise MPs “don’t panic”, however.
While Mr Bercow was still on his feet, the prime minister’s spokesman revealed that he did not “forewarn” Number 10 of the content of his statement or the fact that he was making one.
Erm… it was revealed on Sky News at 3pm, half an hour before the ruling.
Right now, the PM’s inner circle will be furious with Mr Bercow and will not appreciate that at least Mrs May and her allies have more time to win over the rebels and the DUP.
Talks, after all, were going on while the Speaker was making his ruling.
But although Tory Brexiteers loathe Mr Bercow with a passion – and we saw another clash between Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom and the Speaker after his ruling – some of them also see some advantage to their cause.
Diehards in the European Research Group are claiming no deal is back on the table.
I would not bet on that being the ultimate outcome, however.
The likeliest outcome is that Mrs May will win some sort of concession – however minor and merely symbolic – at the Brussels summit later this week and that a “meaningful vote” – MV3, in the jargon – will be held next week.