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May's government found in contempt of Parliament over Brexit legal advice

May's government found in contempt of Parliament over Brexit legal advice

Responding to the government's defeat, Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, told MPs that the final and full legal advice would be published on Wednesday.

Theresa May was defeated in the first of two possible votes today as the government was held in contempt of parliament for its failure to publish the legal advice on her Brexit deal.

Opposition parties say Downing Street limited the amount of information they released about the legal advice they received over Theresa May's Brexit deal.

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.

Parliament is set to begin debating the divorce deal agreed between the government and the European Union tonight (local time), before a vote next Tuesday.

May is due to address Parliament Wednesday, opening five days of debate before a December 11 vote on the divorce agreement.

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the finding of contempt was "a badge of shame" for the Government, with "huge constitutional and political significance".

Tory MPs Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone backed the contempt motion, along with nine MPs from the DUP - who are supposed to be Mrs May's parliamentary allies.

Defeat would leave the United Kingdom facing a messy, economically damaging "no-deal" Brexit on March 29 and could topple the prime minister, her government, or both.

Advocate General Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona told the European Court of Justice that a British decision to revoke the countdown to departure would be legally valid.

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Yet the text's full publication is unlikely to impact a Brexit deal vote that faces resistance from all sides of a bickering House of Commons.

She talked up the prospects of post-Brexit trade deals with Japan, Canada, Argentina and Australia, as she banged the drum for global Britain.

The amendment gives MPs the power to instruct the government what action to take if May's Brexit deal is, as expected, voted down in Parliament.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable repeated calls for a second European Union referendum, saying: "Theresa May's majority has evaporated and the credibility of her deal is evaporating with it".

It means that instead of the government having to come back to tell MPs what their next steps are - and MPs voting on that - they would theoretically be able to vote on what they wanted the government to do as well.

"We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, and on the subject of the EU's regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our position for the future relationship talks", said Macron.

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.

Reflecting on her personal journey, May added: "I have spent almost two years negotiating this deal". May and her government objected to this ruling, saying that it was pointless because they planned to go through with Brexit.

As she sought the backing of the Commons for her Brexit deal, the prime minister said the United Kingdom would enjoy a "better future" outside the European Union.


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