United Kingdom government found in contempt of parliament

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Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom indicated the attorney general's full and final advice would be released on Wednesday.

"That this House finds ministers in contempt for their failure to comply with the requirements of the motion for return passed on 13 November 2018, to publish the final and full legal advice provided by the attorney general to the cabinet concerning the European Union withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship, and orders its immediate publication".

The move came after opposition parties led by Labour and the Democratic Unionist Party attacked ministers for publishing only a summary of the Brexit advice, despite a vote on November 13 demanding full publication.

The Government said after the vote that it would now publish the full advice.

Opponents believe the advice will reveal Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's misgivings about the Brexit agreement.

Minutes after the historic contempt vote, the Government went down to its third defeat in the space of an hour as MPs backed a move which could put Parliament in the driving seat if the Brexit deal is rejected on December 11.

Addressing the Commons at the start of a five-day debate on her proposed Brexit agreement, Mrs May said Brexit divisions had become "corrosive" to United Kingdom politics and the public believed the issue had "gone on long enough" and must be resolved.


Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer accused the government of "willfully refusing to comply with a binding order of this House".

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.

"It is a tribute to the perseverance of the Scottish parliamentarians involved that we will finally get clarity from the Court of Justice on this important question".

"This is the deal that delivers for the British people."

"Today's finding of contempt is a badge of shame for this Government".

"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".

Tuesday's furore came after the government's publication on Monday of a 52-page summary of the legal counsel it received regarding May's Brexit plan.


"And despite some of the bogus claims that have been made by those who oppose staying in the European Union, there would be no price to pay - political or financial - if we were to take back the Article 50 letter".

The opinion came out the same day British prime minister Theresa May was to open a five-day long Brexit debate in Westminster.

"People don't change their minds because some motion has been passed like this when the Government said endlessly the motions don't mean anything".

Crossbench MPs led by Grieve have tabled an amendment to the parliamentary motion which sets out how the government's Brexit deal will be debated over the coming days.

Ms Haddon said the contempt motion was a "show of force" which could foreshadow both the final vote on the deal and the various amendments lawmakers are trying to attach to it.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement covers a settlement of £39 billion (S$68 billion) that Britain will have to play for leaving.


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