British prime minister Theresa May’s government has been found in contempt of parliament for refusing to release its full legal advice on the prime minister’s deal with the EU on the UK’s exit from the bloc. The vote also orders the immediate publication of the “final and full” legal advice on the Brexit deal.
British MPs have also voted to hand more power to parliament over what happens next if Mrs May’s Brexit deal is rejected on December 11th, in a move which could diminish the chances of a no-deal exit from the union. The procedural change means MPs could put forward alternatives if the current deal on the table is rejected.
Following the votes, Mrs May officially opened five days of debate in parliament on her Brexit deal, ahead of a crucial vote on December 11th, when MPs will be asked to approve it.
The leaked summary was damaging enough. It was billed as the full document. So what else is hidden?
Another interesting event today is the notion that Parliament can take control of the process.
Can Parliament Take Control?
- For starters, there has been little agreement in parliament on much of anything except that no one likes the deal May secured.
- Second, both May and the EU billed the deal as a take it or leave it proposal. Other than cosmetic changes, there is no time to go back to the EU for changes.
- Third, French president Emmanuel Macron may very well have sealed the fate of this deal by announcing he was willing to perpetually hold the UK in a customs agreement over fishing rights and climate change.
Following the vote of contempt on Tuesday, parliament leader Andrea Leadsom said the government would publish the full legal advice on Wednesday.
Macron added to his climate change demand, upping the ante to include fishing rights.
"We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, and on the subject of the EU's regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our position for the future relationship talks," said Macron. Clearly, Macron understood what was in the agreement that May signed.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock