Brexit deal legal advice to be published after MPs find government in contempt of Parliament

Geoffrey Cox

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox leaves 10 Downing Street. Image: Getty

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The full legal advice about Theresa May's Brexit deal will be published after MPs found the government in contempt of Parliament.

The government will publish the "final and full" advice from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox tomorrow, Andrea Leadsom told the House of Commons.

The move follows a motion of contempt tabled by opposition parties, after the government refused to publish the full version of the legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement, as required by a vote in Parliament on November 13.


Mr Cox was accused of trying to "hide behind convention" in a bid to prevent the publication of the full, unedited legal advice, with the government also accused of avoiding publishing the advice for "fear of the political consequences".

The Commons supported a contempt motion, backed by six opposition parties, demanding full disclosure by 311 votes to 293.

Among those that voted for the motion were the DUP, who have openly opposed Theresa May's Brexit deal.

MPs and members of the public can be held in contempt of Parliament, which refers to any behaviour which hinders the work of Parliament, such as trying to bribe an MP and refusing to appear before a Parliamentary committee.