May facing "historic constitutional row" over Brexit legal advice

The UK Prime Minister faces a push to find her in contempt of Parliament

May facing "historic constitutional row" over Brexit legal advice

UK Prime Minister Theresa May during a press conference at the G20 Leader's Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 01-12-2018. Image: Gustavo Garello/AP/Press Association Images

The UK Prime Minister has been warned that she faces an "historic constitutional row" ahead of the crunch Parliamentary vote on Brexit.

The UK Labour Party said it will join other opposition parties in a push to find Theresa May in contempt of parliament.

The party wants the UK attorney general’s full legal advice on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement published in full ahead of the vote.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which has been propping up her minority government, is also calling for the advice to be published.

The Parliamentary vote will be held in nine days time.

Crunch vote

It remains unclear whether Mrs May will be able to convince enough of her Parliament to back the deal – with over 100 of her own MPs voicing opposition.

The resignation of her universities and science minister Sam Gyimah on Friday night did little to alleviate the pressure on her.

Mr Gyimah, who supported remain in the original referendum, was the seventh minister to resign in protest at the deal – which has been accepted by the UK Cabinet and agreed by EU leaders.

Holyrood

Meanwhile, the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood look set to pass a motion declaring the deal "damaging for Scotland and the nations and regions of the UK."

Should the motion be passed, it would not prevent the deal – however it would become Scotland’s official position on the matter.

Meanwhile, Labour has confirmed it will attempt to oust Mrs May is she loses the vote.

The party’s shadow Brexit secretary said Keir Starmer said it would seek to call a motion of no confidence in the government if MPs rejected the deal.

"I think it's inevitable that we will seek to move that - obviously it will depend on what actually happens in nine days, it will depend on what the response is - but if she's lost a vote of this significance after two years of negotiation, then it is right that there should be a general election."

People's vote

He also said a second referendum would be "far better" than Mrs May's deal.

Meanwhile, Conservative Brexiteer and former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers has said she would "have to look at the circumstances" before deciding how to vote if a no confidence motion in the prime minister was called.

Both Mrs May and the European Council president Donald Tusk have warned that rejection of the deal will open the door to "no deal or no Brexit at all."