Parliament finds May government in contempt for withholding terms of Brexit

Parliament finds May government in contempt for withholding terms of Brexit

Parliament finds May government in contempt for withholding terms of Brexit

Attorney General Cox sparked anger on Monday when he published only a position statement, rather than the "full legal advice" insisted on by the Commons last month.

This was after MPs found the government in contempt of Parliament for not publishing its full legal advice on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

On Tuesday, British House of Commons voted 311 to 293 to hold May's government in contempt.

But that message of unity suffered a setback from Tuesday's parliamentary vote.

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. "Over 100 Conservative MPs have said they are not going to back the deal, the Labour Party have said they are not going to back the deal".

But Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg told the programme: "I would say publish and avoid being in contempt of the House of Commons, which is a very serious matter".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today that the meaningful vote on the Brexit deal was "the single biggest decision the country will have taken in 50 years" and the Government's decision "impedes the house in the performance of its function".

With the fragility of the government's parliamentary majority laid bare, May opened a five-day debate on her plan for how the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, well-aware an even more significant defeat is on the horizon.

In an opinion prepared for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Strasbourg, the advocate general said the United Kingdom did not need the approval of the 27 remaining EU member states to halt the two-year countdown triggered invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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"This is a huge win for us, and a huge step forward from the highest court in the business, and confirms what we have been hoping for: that the United Kingdom can indeed change its mind on Brexit and revoke Article 50, unilaterally", he said.

MPs backed a move that could put Parliament in the driving seat if the Brexit deal is rejected on December 11 by giving the Commons the power to amend a motion that Mrs May would be required to make within the following 21 days to set out the Government's next steps.

If she loses, May could call for a second vote on the deal.

Meanwhile, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney hit back at "unfair" criticism, after pro-Brexit MPs accused him of scaremongering.

The guidance is not binding on the Luxembourg court, which is considering the issue in response to a request from British parliamentarians.

Theresa May is facing opposition in both directions over her Brexit deal.

"The Government must not be allowed to use this chaotic situation to take focus away from the mess they are making of Brexit".

This ultimately would have helped stop the immediate publication of the full legal advice on the Brexit deal - something which opposition MPs have demanded. "That is the nature of a negotiation", she said.

In the most extreme no-deal scenario, shopping bills could rise by up to 10% but even in an orderly no-deal withdrawal, with a transition period, grocery prices could rise by 6%, he said.

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