Government found in contempt of parliament over Brexit legal advice.


THE UK GOVERNMENT ministers have been found in contempt of parliament after a vote in the House of Commons this evening.

A vote of 311-293 in favour of the motion was passed. This vote effectively means that the entire legal advice must be published.

The motion which was voted on was: “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 EU withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship, and orders its immediate publication.”

On 13 November, a motion tabled by the main opposition Labour party passed the House of Commons demanding ministers immediately publish “any legal advice in full” on the Brexit deal struck with the EU.

The government yesterday published a legal position paper, but said it was convention for ministers not to publish the full advice because it might contain sensitive details.

Labour, backed by other opposition parties and the DUP – who, let’s not forget, are supporting the Tories in government – tabled a motion declaring the government in contempt.

Speaker John Bercow agreed “there is an arguable case that a contempt has been committed” and set aside time for a discussion starting today.

The government has tabled an amendment to the motion in an attempt to delay the process, which if passed would refer the question to the Commons’ Committee of Privileges.

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