Government found in contempt of parliament and must publish Brexit legal advice

Theresa May answers questions about her Brexit agenda at a Parliamentary liaison committee meeting Nov. 29 2018 in London

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In response Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the government "would respond" on Wednesday.

This ultimately would have helped stop the immediate publication of the full legal advice on the Brexit deal - something which opposition MPs have demanded.

"By treating Parliament with contempt, the Government has proved it has lost its majority and the respect of the House".

In a thumping defeat for the government, Theresa May's ministers will have to publish the Brexit legal advice. Honourable friend the Prime Minister presented to me that if the motion were tone made amendable- the motion to be considered thereafter - it would in some way interfere with her ability to negotiate.

There is an "arguable case" that the Government committed contempt of Parliament, Speaker John Bercow MP has said.

And she will say: "This is the deal that delivers for the British people".

There is no requirement for the government to share legal advice on new policies, nor is there precedent for legal advice to be routinely published.

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It comes as reports have emerged that Government whips have been holding conversations about pulling the all important vote due to be held next Tuesday.

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".

"But the reality remains that we have an unsatisfactory procedure to resolve differences of opinion in this House, if and obviously, it's an if, we come to a point where the Government does not succeed on its motion and the opportunity exists this afternoon to cure that anomaly".

"We've listened carefully and in light of the expressed will of the House we will publish the final and full advice provided by the Attorney General to Cabinet".

Four Labour MPs voted against the amendment.

In an address to parliament on Monday, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox claimed publishing the full extent of legal advice he provided the government over the deal would be "contrary to the public interest".

It means MPs will debate and vote on Tuesday on whether or not to refer the case to the Standards Committee.

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