UK ministers forced by MPs to publish full legal advice on Theresa May's Brexit deal

Written by Tom Freeman on 4 December 2018 in News

UK Government ministers found in contempt of Parliament as majority of MPs back Labour motion

House of Commons - PA

UK Government ministers have been found in contempt of parliament for failing to publish their legal advice on Brexit in full.

The vote, which the Government lost by 311 votes to 293, was described as “unprecedented” by Labour’s Keir Starmer, who tabled the motion.

Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom said government will respond tomorrow, but the legal advice will now be published ahead of the binding vote on Theresa May’s negotiated terms on leaving the EU, expected on 11 December.

Ministers fought hard to prevent the publication, even though it was ordered by MPs, and chief legal adviser Attorney General Geoffrey Cox addressed the Commons yesterday.

His full advice to ministers will now also be published.

After the government defeat, Shadow Brexit Secretary Starmer said: “This House has now spoken and it is of huge significance."

Leadsom said: "The government has listened carefully and will publish full and final advice provided by the Attorney General, but realising the serious constitutional issues this raises, the issue will be sent to the Privileges Committee first."

However she also issued a warning ahead of next week’s vote. “We must support the deal, and deliver on the will of the British people,” she said.

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