Government to publish 'final and full' Brexit legal advice
Dec 05 2018
The UK government may have broken Parliamentary rules by not publishing Brexit legal advice, the Commons Speaker has said.
Ministers are expected to set out tomorrow how this will be done.
The vote on the motion to find ministers in contempt of parliament is said to be a precursor on how MPs will vote on the government's Brexit deal next week.
"The government is upholding an important point of principle", the prime minister's spokesman said.
The Conservative prime minister has consistently refused to say what she plans to do if - as widely predicted - the British Parliament rejects the deal her government reached with the EU. Among those voting against the Government were former Cabinet ministers Sir Michael Fallon and Damian Green.
This is likely to delay the start of the debate on Theresa May's Brexit deal.
Once the results of the two votes were announced, Labour's Keir Starmer described the situation as "unprecedented" and noted that the legal advice must now be published in full.
He added: "Even at this eleventh hour, I would urge ministers to step back from the brink and to not go down in history as the first Government to be found in contempt". "The Prime Minister can't keep pushing parliament away or avoiding responsible scrutiny". But the contempt vote demonstrated the fragility of May's government, which does not have a majority in Parliament.
"The fact is, during the course of this administration we have won the overwhelming majority of votes that have taken place on the floor of the House of Commons".
Leadsom then introduced a bill on the Brexit deal, which was immediately challenged with an amendment that would make the Parliament supreme in deciding the next move if the deal is voted down next week - as many anticipate it will be.
Meanwhile, Mr Carney stepped up his warnings about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. Hard-liners, who support a clean break, argue that the agreement forces the United Kingdom to remain in a customs arrangement with the European Union without a clear end date.
MPs' decisions over the next week would "set the course our country takes for decades to come", she said.
"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", she will tell lawmakers on Tuesday, according to excerpts of her speech.
"And with my whole heart I commend this motion to the House".
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is due to address Parliament Tuesday, opening five days of debate before a December 11 vote on the divorce agreement.
- The BBC dropped proposals for a TV debate featuring Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn followed by a discussion between eight panellists including politicians from different sides of the Brexit argument.
The formal advice from a European Court of Justice advocate general - not binding but usually heeded by the court - suggested to some lawmakers that revoking the "Article 50" divorce notice was an option. Rejecting it would leave the United Kingdom facing the prospect of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit, but May's chances of winning majority backing for the deal appear slim.