UK government faces contempt of Parliament motion over Brexit legal advice

Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox arrives to a cabinet meeting in Downing Street in London, Britain, Nov. 4, 2018. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

London, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Lawmakers in the United Kingdom on Tuesday debated a motion alleging the government was acting in contempt of Parliament by failing to publish in full the legal advice it had received concerning on the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary who represents the opposition Labour Party, has accused Geoffrey Cox, a Conservative Member of Parliament and current Attorney General, of failing to honor a House of Commons vote last month demanding that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government publish, in full, the advice it received for its proposed agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Cox, who only offered a redacted version of the advice, said the initial petition had been too vague, but Labour has insisted lawmakers must be provided with the information before casting their final vote on the Brexit deal on the lower chamber of politics on Dec. 11.

The government has said that revealing some of the advice it received could jeopardize its position in Brexit discussions with Brussels.

Tuesday’s motion was presented by Labour, the main opposition; the Scottish National Party, an anti-Brexit pro-Scottish independence group; the Liberal Democrats, an anti-Brexit centrist party; the Democratic Unionist Party, a right-wing Northern Irish party; Plaid Cymru, a regional Welsh independence party and the Greens.

After the session has concluded, lawmakers will commence five days of Brexit debates in the chamber, where May will seek support for her plan.

The Tory leader, who relies on the often shaky support of the DUP to prop up her minority executive, is set to come up against stiff opposition.

The UK is due to leave the EU on Mar. 19, 2019.