The British Government lost a parliamentary vote on November 4 on legal advice it received on the Brexit deal with European Union (EU) leaders recently. Three hundred and eleven parliament members (MPs) favoured a motion by the main opposition Labour Party to find the government in contempt of parliament for failing to publish the advice while 293 MPs opposed it.
It is the first time ever that a British Government has been found in contempt of parliament in such a manner.
The government, which had on December 3 published a summary of the legal advice ignoring a parliamentary vote that had required them to publish it in its full, reacted to the defeat saying it will publish the ‘full and final’ legal advice on November 6, according to global news wires.
The Labour, the Greens, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, and some MPs from the Conservatives, as well as their former allies the Democratic Unionists of Norther Ireland, reportedly joined hands in an unprecedented show of political unity.
Another amendment lost by the government sought to give parliament a greater say if the government is defeated in the vote on the Brexit deal on December 11.
The amendment enables MPs to change any proposals brought back to parliament after this, greatly strengthening the hand of parliament, and making it tougher for the government to suggest that if parliament did not pass their deal, the United Kingdom would crash out of the EU.