The five days of debate to precede the “meaningful vote” on Brexit began atrociously yesterday, with Prime Minister Theresa May suffering three defeats in the House of Commons. This included the Cabinet and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox being found in contempt of Parliament as they sought to balance “conflicting constitutional issues” believing that releasing only a summary of the attorney general’s Brexit advice (published on Monday) along with a three hour interrogation of Mr Cox would be the best course forward for national interests.
But Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, argued that by not releasing the advice "the government is willfully refusing to comply with a binding order of this House, and that is contempt.” The spokesman for the Prime Minister stressed that "it is an essential part of the functioning of government that Cabinet ministers can have access to candid legal advice" without fear of it being published. But MP’s disagreed by 311 to 293 votes as the DUP backed the motion which condemned the withholding of the “full and final” legal advice and “ordered its immediate publication”. Today the advice in full should be released, right alongside all the "contempt of parliament" and "constitutional crisis" headlines. The heated debates continue today and throughout this week, with Parliament set to vote on the Brexit deal on Tuesday 11th (assuming there still is a functioning House of Commons by then).
Mervyn King, Former Governor of the Bank of England, also had some harsh words on the deal which he likened to “Nazi appeasement” and published a scathing article for Bloomberg titled, “May’s Brexit Deal Is a Betrayal of Britain” stating that “the government pretended that everything could be postponed until an imaginary long-term deal could be negotiated. This was naïve at best, and in the event has proven disastrous. And so Project Fear turned into Project Impossible. It is incompetence on a monumental scale.” He concluded, “If this parliament bequeaths to its successors the choice between a humiliating submission and the abrogation of a binding international treaty, it will not be forgiven — and will not deserve to be.”