British MPs find May government in contempt over Brexit advice

05 December, 2018, 02:01 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • The result of the Shropshire Star's Brexit poll

The British government said they will published the "final and full" advice on Wednesday.

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom announced the Government will publish the "final and full" legal advice provided by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal tomorrow.

MPs first rejected a Government amendment to the cross-party contempt motion by 311 votes to 307, a majority of four.

While ministers could refuse to accede to a motion of this kind, doing so would precipitate a full-blown constitutional crisis of which this week's row over publishing legal advice is just a foretaste.

Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said the contempt finding was "unprecedented".

Ministers will be forced to publish the government's full legal advice on the deal after MPs found them in contempt of Parliament for issuing a summary.

Responding to the result, the ruling Conservative Party's Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom said the government meant to publish the advice on Wednesday.

In another sign of the government's weakness, lawmakers also passed an amendment giving Parliament more say over the government's next steps if the divorce deal is rejected in a vote on December 11.

Over the coming days she will deploy senior Cabinet ministers to make the case, with Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid expected to appear at the despatch box.

Advocate General Campos Sanchez-Bordona stated that Britain could halt the entire process without the agreement of other European Union countries.


It also ordered the "immediate publication" of the legal advice.

If lawmakers do not back her deal, May says, they could open the door either to Britain falling out of the European Union without measures to soften the transition or to the possibility that Brexit does not happen.

However, Conservative whips may hope by opening up the prospect that parliament could push the government towards a softer Brexit, the amendment may convince a few Brexiters to throw their weight reluctantly behind May's deal.

This is an extraordinary development, but these proceedings will pale into insignificance next week should Mrs May lose the meaningful vote.

Such motions could be used to show a clear majority against going ahead with Brexit on March 29, and mandating the Government to bring forward the necessary regulation to defer the date.

She will tell MPs: "The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted".

"MPs are tonight starting the process of taking back control".

The amendment will have to be considered before Theresa May can open five days of historic debate on her painstakingly-negotiated Brexit deal. May and her government objected to this ruling, saying that it was pointless because they planned to go through with Brexit.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Tuesday that British consumers could see their weekly supermarket bills up by 10 percent in a worst-case Brexit scenario that involves a 25 percent fall in the value of the pound.

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