Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

What's Next for the UK If Parliament Shoots Down the Brexit Deal?

What's Next for the UK If Parliament Shoots Down the Brexit Deal?

MPs have humiliated the Government by voting to hold ministers in contempt of parliament - for the first time in history - for refusing to publish the Attorney General's full legal advice on Brexit.

Following the vote of contempt on Tuesday, parliament leader Andrea Leadsom said the government would publish the full legal advice on Wednesday.

Only hours before the vote, Mrs May had told Cabinet that "candid" legal advice given to ministers must remain confidential, despite a Commons vote last month demanding its publication in "final and full" form.

Opponents believe the advice will reveal Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's misgivings about the Brexit agreement.

The government lost the critical vote by 311 votes to 293, a stinging defeat for May at the beginning of a week of votes on issues related to Brexit.

"This house has now spoken and it's of huge constitutional and political signficance", said opposition Labour Party member Keir Starmer.

The British Parliament has found Prime Minister Theresa May's government to be in contempt. "The Grieve amendment gives teeth back to the House of Commons so MPs can have some real bite".

"The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted", she will tell lawmakers on Tuesday, according to excerpts of her speech.

"I promise you today that this is the very best deal for the British people and I ask you to back in the best interest of our constituents and our country".

On Tuesday, representatives from the Labour party, the Liberal Democratic party, the SNP, the DUP, the Green party and the Welsh Plaid Cymru party has written a joint letter to the speaker of the House of Commons calling for action to be taken against the government.

Advocate General Campos Sanchez-Bordona stated that Britain could halt the entire process without the agreement of other European Union countries.

Ms Stihler said: "If judges accept his opinion, the United Kingdom will have the option of halting the process, and will be able to offer the chance to keep the best deal we have as a member of the European Union through a People's Vote - rather than choosing between Theresa May's bad deal or a catastrophic no-deal scenario".

To complicate matters even more, between 50 and 80 hard-line Conservative members of Parliament are likely to reject the deal.

But May has no intention of revoking the notice, her spokesman said, despite facing a daunting struggle to secure parliament's approval in the key vote on December 11 after her plan was criticised by Brexit supporters and opponents alike.

However, Conservative whips may hope by opening up the prospect that parliament could push the government towards a softer Brexit, the amendment may convince a few Brexiters to throw their weight reluctantly behind May's deal.

Downing Street insisted that it was "not a final judgment" and "does nothing in any event to change the clear position of the Government that Article 50 is not going to be revoked".

Mrs May said Britain will leave regardless of any future decision by the EU's top court and that the choice is between her deal or no deal.

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