May 27, 2019
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European Union

UK Parliament finds government in contempt over Brexit legal advice

 Pro-EU protesters demonstrate outside Parliament in London, the United Kingdom, Nov. 29, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/ANDY RAIN

Pro-EU protesters demonstrate outside Parliament in London, the United Kingdom, Nov. 29, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/ANDY RAIN

London, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Lawmakers in the United Kingdom's lower house on Tuesday passed a motion declaring the country's government in contempt of parliament over its refusal to release the full legal advice it had received on Brexit, the island nation's upcoming withdrawal process from the European Union.

The House of Commons voted 311-293 in favor of finding ministers in contempt due to their failure to disclose the document in full and ordered that it be immediately published.

"That this House finds ministers in contempt for their failure to comply with the requirements of the motion for return passed on 13 November 2018, to publish the final and full legal advice provided by the attorney general to the cabinet concerning the EU withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship, and orders its immediate publication," read the main motion passed by a majority of Members of Parliament.

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May had cited the need to only publish a redacted version of the document because revealing some of the advice the government had received would allegedly jeopardize its position in Brexit discussions with Brussels.

The lower house considered that Monday's incomplete briefing by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox contained insufficient information for MPs to take part in the crucial final Brexit deal vote scheduled for Dec. 11.

Tuesday's motion was presented by an unprecedented alliance comprising the Labour Party, 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 that propped up May's Conservative minority executive following the last general election; Plaid Cymru – a regional Welsh independence party – and the Greens.

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