'The Conservative government is facing contempt of Parliament proceedings after publishing a 43-page – redacted – summary of the legal advice provided to it about its Brexit agreement with the EU, rather than providing all the advice it was given to MPs.
As the Humble Motion approved by Parliament unanimously on November 13 was for the full advice and not a summary that has been edited to remove anything critical of the government, Mrs May’s administration may face contempt proceedings as early as this evening (December 3).
There was a possibility that the Tories could fend off such proceedings, if Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were to announce a u-turn by the government during his oral statement on the matter this afternoon.
But he did not.
Instead, he simply commended his 43-page summary – he called it a “commentary” – to the Commons.
He said: “The matters of law can only inform the political decision” and that, in the time available “it is impossible to cover each and every matter of law that arises over 585 pages” of the withdrawal agreement.
It seems to This Writer that if the government’s top lawyer hasn’t had time to consider all the implications of an international agreement of such seismic importance as this, he should have demanded an extension until he had been able to do the job properly. Anything else is incompetence and he admitted as much at around 4.30pm today.
Failure to bring the full legal advice before Parliament is therefore also failure to show what information was not provided to the Tory government. Without that, it would be impossible for Parliament to support Mrs May’s deal.'
Read more: It’s contempt, then: Government failure to provide legal advice on Brexit to Parliament triggers proceedings
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