Executive Intelligence Review


After Three Brexit Defeats in Parliament, Theresa May Might Not Make It

Dec. 5, 2018 (EIRNS)—British Prime Minister Theresa May has had a “terrible day today as the government made history in two excruciating ways,” as the BBC characterizes it on yesterday’s Brexit debate in the House of Commons.

The government ministers who refused to publish the legal advice on the Brexit deal provided to May were found to be in contempt of Parliament, which voted 311-293 in support of a motion demanding full disclosure of the details. The motion against May was backed by 9 out of 10 of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which is in a parliamentary coalition with the Conservatives. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s argument that full publication would not be in the national interest, was rejected by the Commons, as was an attempt by ministers to refer the whole issue to the relevant committee of MPs.

“The privileges committee will now decide which ministers should be held accountable and what sanction to apply, with options ranging from a reprimand to the more unlikely scenario of a minister being suspended from the Commons,”

reports BBC.

May suffered another setback as MPs voted 321-299 for changes to the parliamentary process, should the Commons vote down May’s Brexit deal on Dec. 11. In that case, the government has 21 days to come up with a new proposal to vote on, but the Parliament itself will have a voice in any new proposal. The fact that 26 Tory MPs rebelled against May in this vote is a bad omen for the vote on Dec. 11, which might find her with the loss of her government majority.

Also yesterday, the European Court of Justice’s senior lawyer said Article 50, which started the Brexit process, could be revoked unilaterally by the U.K., without EU approval. May would simply have to submit another letter retracting the original letter evoking Article 50.

Early elections are not ruled out.