Politics update: Government suffers three defeats on Brexit in Commons, Farage quits Ukip

Politics update 05.12.2018 Government Contempt Brexit

Good morning. Here’s your daily Politics Update:

MPs find government in contempt of parliament

Government contempt brexit

Theresa May’s Brexit plans were significantly weakened on Tuesday, after her government suffered two defeats, on the Brexit legal advice publication, and the power for MPs to challenge her deal.

The legal advice on Brexit given by the attorney general Geoffrey Cox will now be published in full, after a vote by MPs in House of Commons on Tuesday found the government in contempt of court.

On Monday, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer tabled the motion of contempt, with a letter signed by five other opposition parties asking that the Commons Speaker launch contempt of court proceedings for withholding the full legal advice.

The Commons voted 311 to 293 against the government. The full legal advice given to the government by the attorney general Geoffrey Cox will now be published well before Tuesday’s Commons vote on May’s Brexit deal, with the recent defeat adding extra pressure to a deal which is already unlikely to secure majority support from MPs.

Another government defeat on Brexit – MPs gain more say over the deal

The government also suffered a defeat on an amendment table by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, calling for MPs to have more control over a future Brexit outcome, if Theresa May’s deal is voted down on 11 December.

The amendment, which could potentially give parliament a much bigger say in the Brexit process, was backed by a majority of 22 in the Commons on Tuesday.

If MPs vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the government will have 21 days to come back to parliament with a motion, setting out what it plans to do next. At that point, MPs will now have more power to make changes to any proposed next steps.

Read: What happens if MPs vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal?

Nigel Farage leaves UKIP


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has resigned from the party, saying the party is unrecognisable because of leader Gerard Batten’s “fixation” with anti-Muslim policies.

Speaking on his radio show on LBC, Farage, who has been the most prominent member of the party for 25 years, said he was leaving with a “heavy heart”.

Party leader Gerard Batten survived a vote of no-confidence on Monday, launched after he appointed controversial figure Tommy Robinson as an adviser. Speaking on Tuesday, Farage said this would tarnish the “image” of Brexit – UKIP is an influential pro-Brexit party.

“Damaging UKIP is one thing, damaging the Brexit cause is even worse,” Farage said. “The brand has now been so damaged, so tarnished, that it is not able to pick up and won’t be able to pick up the political opportunity that is there staring it in the face.”

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.