United Kingdom government found in contempt of parliament


This prompted Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, to concede that "because of the express will of the House" the government would back down and publish the legal advice in full.

The vote comes immediately after MPs voted to find Theresa May's government in contempt of parliament over its failure to publish its legal advice on the Brexit deal.

Leadsom swiftly responded to the defeat by promising to publish the legal advice "in full" on Wednesday.

At times, the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox looked overwhelmed with emotion as he listened to colleagues giving character references that might spring him from the contempt charge.

But the debate was delayed as MPs voted on the contempt motion.

"We have therefore been left with no option but to write to the speaker of the House of Commons to ask him to launch proceedings of contempt", Labour's Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.

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Their victory means that for the first time in history government ministers have been found guilty of the ancient offence, which involves any attempt to obstruct the working of parliament.

A cross-party motion was filed by a group of MPs, including Labour, DUP, Lib Dems, SNP.

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".

The prime minister needs roughly 320 votes in the House of Commons to secure the approval of her deal.

The ECJ's advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona said the United Kingdom could withdraw its notification to leave the European Union before its exit in March 2019 without needing the approval of the other 27 states.

She has toured the country and television studios to try to sell her deal, but a move to present her government's legal advice to Parliament seemed to backfire on Monday.

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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.

Such motions could be used to show a clear majority against going ahead with Brexit on March 29, and mandating the Government to bring forward the necessary regulation to defer the date.

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. 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.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government also argues that during the deal's implementation period, the United Kingdom will negotiate a trade agreement with the bloc that will make the Irish backstop unnecessary.

CRUCIAL VOTE The crucial December 11 vote is likely to decide the shape of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Mr Carney stepped up his warnings about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. May and her government objected to this ruling, saying that it was pointless because they planned to go through with Brexit.

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Hardline Conservative Brexiteers say May's compromise deal does not represent enough of a break with Brussels.