Britain’s government at risk of contempt of parliament over Brexit advice

Leading Brexiter Liam Fox urges support for May’s deal | Financial Times

Former Universities Minister Says PM's Deal "Isn't A Deal"

Britain's main opposition Labour party threatened to trigger an "historic constitutional row" on Sunday unless Prime Minister Theresa May publishes the full legal advice she received on her draft Brexit deal.

Lawmakers are voting on a motion finding the government in contempt of Parliament for refusing to publish the full guidance from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

However, ministers have since sparked anger saying they would release a "full, reasoned position statement" based on the advice instead of the advice in full.

Mrs May will also address the Commons as she tries to persuade MPs to support her Brexit deal in that vote on 11 December.

Bercow said this question would be the first order of business for Parliament to debate Tuesday, pushing back the start of May's debate until later in the day and meaning that her inability to get her way will have been vividly illustrated even before she stands up.

The government has also made it clear that Britain will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 regardless of the votes in Parliament, saying there would be no chance for a renegotiation of the Brexit agreement.

In an interview with ITV television yesterday, when asked if she would quit if she lost the Dec 11 vote, Mrs May said: "I will still have a job in two weeks' time".

Speaking afterwards, Ms Sturgeon, who revealed the SNP plans to lay an amendment to the meaningful vote motion, said she told the prime minister there must not be a "false choice between her proposed deal and a no-deal outcome".

"I don't want to go down this path".

But the British government and the European Union insist that the agreement, which took a year and a half to negotiate, is the only one on the table and rejecting it would mean leaving the bloc without a deal.

She will say that she had meetings with leaders keen to strike trade deals, including the hosts Argentina, Australia, Chile and Japan.

"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".

The MP, who is regarded as a party loyalist, says the deal is a huge gamble.

"It is apparent to us - and we believe the overwhelming majority of the House [of Commons] - that the information released today does not constitute the final and full advice provided by the Attorney General to the Cabinet", a letter jointly signed by representatives from each of the six parties said.

The paper says it has seen a letter from Oliver Robbins, in which the negotiator said there was no legal "guarantee" that Britain would be able to break off from the backstop, potentially leaving the United Kingdom trapped in a customs union with the European Union.

With Japan, Britain wants to work quickly to set up a new arrangement based on Tokyo's existing partnership agreement with the European Union, she said.

Over 100 Tory MPs are reportedly likely vote against the withdrawal agreement next week, according to lists compiled by Buzzfeed News and the Guardian.

Swift new trade deals are a major demand for Brexit campaigners.

"I can not take a step that I believe in conscience would be against the public interest and potentially seriously harmful to a fundamental constitutional principle and the temporal interests of this country in the midst of a negotiation", Cox said.

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