Saturday, 15 December, 2018

UK Opposition Warns PM of 'Historic Constitutional Row' Over Brexit Legal Advice

Another UK govt minister quits over Brexit deal Another UK govt minister quits over Brexit deal
Ellis Copeland | 03 December, 2018, 13:42

May secured an agreement with European Union leaders on Nov 25 that would see Britain leave the bloc on March 29 with continued close trade ties, but the odds look stacked against her getting it through a deeply divided British parliament.

Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said Sunday it's "inevitable" that Labour will bring a no-confidence motion in the government if Parliament rejects the Brexit agreement.

The government has also made it clear that Britain will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 regardless of the votes in Parliament, saying there would be no chance for a renegotiation of the Brexit agreement.

If Theresa May's government lost a no-confidence vote, it would have two weeks to overturn the result with a new vote by lawmakers.

Last month, MPs passed a binding Commons vote which required the government to present any legal advice it had received "in full", something May has ruled out several times.

The paper says the fallout could put further strain on the DUP and Conservative confidence and supply deal.

This will put May in a hard position as she attempts to lobby Conservative Party votes for her bill, while potentially having to reveal compromises over the so-called Northern Ireland "backstop" position which could doom it in the eyes of pro-Brexit MPs.

Such a situation, while it would ramp up pressure on May's government, would likely be preferable to the Prime Minister, who has previously attempted to paint Labour as untrustworthy on Brexit and allow her to shore up support among Euroskeptic voters across the political spectrum.

"I honestly think if you're going to leave, leave, but don't do this halfway house".

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"We've got a wish-list of aspirations that we intend to negotiate with the European Union (after) we've lost our voice, our veto and our vote", he told Sky News.

"I don't want to go down this path".

Lewis also said he was not planning for an early general election, telling the programme: "I'm ready for the 2019 local elections, that's what I'm planning for, we will be ready for the 2022 general election".

MPs vote on Theresa May's deal in nine days time - then god knows what happens.

"Why it is a deal that delivers on Brexit but it is also a deal that protects jobs and the economy and why passing this deal in the vote that takes place in the House of the Commons will take us to certainty for the future, and that failure to do that would only lead to uncertainty". But Environment Secretary Michal Gove said, "I believe that we can win the argument and win the vote".

If talks collapse, the United Kingdom would be trapped, he is said to have written.

Meanwhile, Mrs May is facing a battle on a second front with Labour threatening to combine with other parties - including the DUP - to force ministers to publish the legal advice given by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

She will say that she had meetings with leaders keen to strike trade deals, including the hosts Argentina, Australia, Chile and Japan.

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