Apologies for the particularly obscure and nerdy post today. This is complicated, but very important, so please bear with me.
We just won a vote to find the government in contempt of Parliament. This extraordinary situation comes after several Labour wins against the government, preventing them from charging ahead with their reckless version of Brexit.
Last month Labour put forward a motion (the so-called ‘humble address’) for the government to publish its legal advice on the EU Withdrawal Agreement. The Tories didn’t even bother to vote against it, so it was carried unanimously.
Since then, the government have been desperately fighting to keep this advice secret, most likely because it clearly shows the gaping holes in Theresa May’s almost appalling Withdrawal Agreement.
Yesterday evening I challenged Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government’s most senior lawyer (see video below). I asked him when he spoke to the Chief Whip about the legal advice, because I want to know whether it was always the government’s plan to callously disregard the will of Parliament. By trying to force Brexit through at any cost, the government has treated MPs and our constituents with utter contempt.
Following our victory today, the government will publish the full legal advice. This will be invaluable for properly scrutinising the government’s plans for leaving the EU.
There is another, possibly more important point too. When governments ignore constitutional rules, it is a risk to democracy, so I am extremely glad that they have been forced to comply with the law.