British government forced to back down in Brexit legal advice row

Британия имеет право остановить Brexit без согласия ЕС

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.

Theresa May suffered a humiliating series of blows on Tuesday as the government was found in contempt of Parliament for the first time in history and MPs backed a rebel amendment to her key Brexit legislation.

But Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said: "No honourable member could say in all honesty that the Attorney General has done anything other than treat this House with the greatest of respect, there can be no question that he or the Government has acted in a manner which is contemptuous of this House".

In dramatic scenes at Westminster, the Government bowed to pressure to publish the "final and full" legal advice to Cabinet on the deal after MPs voted by 311 to 293 that its failure to do so amounted to contempt.

The Labour Party and others, including the DUP, said that the vote is so important for the future of the country that lawmakers should be able to see any detailed legal warnings concerning parts of the withdrawal agreement.

The prime minister lost a government motion heading off the demand for the legal advice by four votes, 311 votes to 307.

It's an embarrassing defeat for Theresa May's government, who now face five days of Brexit debate, before the crunch vote on the deal agreed with the European Union on December 11.

This is likely to delay the start of the debate on Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Despite her entreaties, the government appeared to be on a collision course with an increasingly assertive Parliament over the next steps in the U.K.'s exit.

British MPs have also voted to hand more power to parliament over what happens next if Mrs May's Brexit deal is rejected on December 11th, in a move which could diminish the chances of a no-deal exit from the union.

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Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer called the contempt finding "a badge of shame" for the government. Rejecting it would leave the United Kingdom facing the prospect of a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit, but May's chances of winning majority backing for the deal appear slim.

Few in the House of Commons, the lower house, seemed to have been won over on Monday.

He said the motion allowed those who shared his views to "crystallise and express" their opinions.

"It's a false choice to say it's the PM's deal or chaos", said Conservative lawmaker Sam Gyimah, who quit as a minister on Friday over May's deal.

As she sought the backing of the Commons for her Brexit deal, the prime minister said the United Kingdom would enjoy a "better future" outside the European Union.

She also said Parliament would be consulted on the government's negotiating mandate as it embarks on talks on the UK's future relationship with the EU. Her former Brexit minister David Davis said: "This is not Brexit".

But the deal still needs to be passed by a majority of British MPs in Parliament.

In the most extreme no-deal scenario shopping bills could rise by up to 10%, but even in an orderly no-deal withdrawal, with a transition period, he said grocery prices could rise by 6%.

"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".

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