Opposition parties launch contempt proceedings against government
The speaker of the House of Commons has accepted the call for a vote in the House of Commons on whether the government is in contempt of parliament, for failing to publish the full legal advice it has received on Brexit.
Six opposition parties submitted a letter to the speaker of the Commons on Monday, asking that he launch contempt of court proceedings against the government, for withholding the full legal advice.
After considering the case, speaker John Bercow has allowed for the motion to be voted for or against by MPs on Tuesday.
The motion is intended as a last warning against the government, and if the vote passes, and the government does not publish the advice, Labour has indicated it would then seek to hold a senior minister in contempt and seek their suspension from the Commons.
MPs from Labour, SNP, DUP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid and the Green party all came together to sign the letter, which accuses the government of contempt of parliament.
Labour, SNP, DUP, LibDems, Plaid and Greens come together in writing to speaker, accusing the government of being in contempt of parliament by failing to publish the full Brexit legal advice. Judging by the debate, the Tory right agrees with them. pic.twitter.com/h8JUkMWbn8
— Dan Sabbagh (@dansabbagh) December 3, 2018
Speaking on Monday, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “The government has failed to publish the attorney general’s full and final legal advice to the cabinet, as ordered by parliament. 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.”
Government handed petitions with nearly 1.5 million names demanding new Brexit referendum
Group’s representing the Independent’s Final Say Campaign and the People’s Vote campaign have handed in petitions of nearly 1.5 million names, calling for a second referendum on the outcome of Brexit.
The petition will add pressure to an already stressful week for the prime minister, who is gearing up to a vote on her Brexit deal in the Commons in one week’s time.
The People’s Vote campaign has been supported by high-profile MPs such as Conservative’s Justine Greening, Labour’s Chuka Umunna, and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable.
Conservative ex-cabinet minister Justine Greening said: “Britain has choices ahead of it. The key issue that we’re saying today, and that’s why we’re delivering a petition signed by a million people in this country, is that those choices are ones that should be made by the British people.
“Parliament is gridlocked … This is no way to decide the most fundamental question facing Britain for the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years.
“It is time that we now put the clear choices to the British people and allow them to decide.”
Brexiters attack May’s Brexit deal after legal advice summary is published
Tory Brexiteers have rallied to attack Theresa May’s Brexit deal, after a summary of legal advice presented to MPs by attorney general Geoffrey Cox showed Britain cannot leave the backstop without the EU’s agreement.
A ‘command paper’ – which sets out a summary of the legal advice given to the government by the attorney general – was presented on Monday, in an aim to give clarity to MPs on the outcomes of the Brexit deal. However, the legal advice has not been published in full, which has concerned MPs across the House.
A section of the summary released to MPs says “it is not possible under international law” for the UK to escape the withdrawal agreement unilaterally once it is in force.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who chairs the anti-Brexit European Research Group, and publicly submitted a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister in November, said the paper “exposes inaccurate government spin on the proposed Brexit deal”.
MPs will vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it reaches parliament on 11 December.