UK Government to publish Brexit legal advice today

Theresa May suffered three defeats in the House of Commons yesterday

UK Government to publish Brexit legal advice today

UK Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, 04-12-2018. Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images

The UK Government will publish the legal advice it received on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at 11:30am this morning.

It comes after MPs found the Government in contempt of Parliament over its refusal to release the UK Attorney General’s opinion in full.

Meanwhile politicians will begin the second of five days of debate on the deal in the House of Commons this morning.

Prime Minister Theresa May suffered three defeats on the issue in the House of Commons Yesterday.

Firstly a Government attempt to push the demand for the advice to be published out to a Parliamentary committee was defeated 311 votes to 307.

Then the Government lost the contempt of Parliament vote by 311 votes to 293.

Finally an amendment calling for MPs to be handed more control over the process should the Brexit Withdrawal Deal be defeated was passed after 25 Tory MPs decided to back it.

It is the first time since 1978 that a UK Government lost three Commons votes in a row.

This morning, the leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom told the BBC that the advice would be published in full at 11:30am this morning.

Meanwhile, UK politicians will today begin the second of five days of debate on the agreement.

Mrs May insisted the backstop that prevents a hard border on the island of Ireland after December 2020 was "not a trick" and that Brussels "won't want us in there indefinitely."

She admitted her deal was not "perfect", but warned those planning to vote against it would "put this country on course for no deal."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hit back by calling the withdrawal agreement a "leap in the dark" that "takes us no closer to understanding what the future of this country post-Brexit looks like."

He added that "if the government can't govern... then the great British tradition is those governments resign."

Other fiery interventions saw the DUP welcome another general election and Boris Johnson vow to vote against the "paint and plaster pseudo Brexit [where] beneath the camouflage we find the same old EU institutions."

The high-stakes debate will continue on Wednesday, Thursday, next Monday and then culminate with votes on six amendments and the final motion next Tuesday.