MPs find Government in contempt of Parliament in historic vote

MPs find Government in contempt of Parliament in historic vote

MPs find Government in contempt of Parliament in historic vote

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "We have given ministers numerous opportunities to comply with the order of Parliament and to release the Attorney General's full and final legal advice on the Government's Brexit deal".

The UK government will publish in full legal advice it received regarding British Prime Minister Theresa May's widely criticised Brexit deal after it was found to be in contempt of parliament for failing to originally do so.

May refused to publish on the basis that such "candid" legal advice given to ministers should be understood to be confidential.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox insisted the Government had "gone out of its way" to satisfy the terms of the humble address to the Queen passed by Parliament on November 13.

Starting Tuesday, the British Parliament will debate whether to accept the terms of the deal that was negotiated by May and representatives from the European Union.

The government is facing a vote today over whether it is in contempt of Parliament by refusing to publish its own Brexit legal advice.

Theresa May has made a last-ditch attempt to rally MPs behind her Brexit deal after suffering the historic humiliation of seeing her Government found in contempt of Parliament.

Mr Bercow was responding to a call from senior MPs in six parties - Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the Democratic Unionist Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party - for contempt proceedings to be launched.

The government suffered another blow just one hour later when parliament also voted in favour of an amendment that will give greater decision-making powers to MPs if, as expected, May's deal is voted down next week.

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Advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona's non-binding opinion said Article 50 allows the "unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the European Union, until such time as the Withdrawal Agreement is formally concluded".

With more than a dozen Tory MPs publicly signed up to back the amendment, including Nick Boles, who is spearheading a bid to promote a Norway-style Brexit deal; and the erstwhile loyal Oliver Letwin, the government looks certain to be defeated.

That result - which could prevent a "no deal" Brexit - saw the pound rise back to where it started the day, rounding off a rollercoaster day for sterling.

"It does nothing, in any event, to change the clear position of the government that Article 50 is not going to be revoked", May's spokesman said. This did not refute the allegation of contempt but sought to refer the matter to the privileges committee, which would then produce a report, a process that might have taken weeks.

Another critical vote on the Brexit deal is fast approaching. The Bank of England warned last week that a no-deal Brexit could plunge Britain into a severe recession.

With a crucial vote on the Brexit deal looming on December 11, what does it all mean for the Prime Minister's authority?

If that happens, the government is required to come back within 21 days and say what it plans to do.

Since most lawmakers oppose a no-deal Brexit, they could essentially take that option off the table.

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