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Brexit deal news: Backlash as government refuses to publish full legal advice on agreement



The government has become embroiled in a full legal advice given on the Brexit deal.

Downing Street has said it will only be releasing a "full reasoned position statement" laying out its political and legal position on the Withdrawal Agreement.

The move has infuriated Labor Party and Tory Brexite MPs, who have demanded that full text be published.

Conservative MP Peter Bone claimed not releasing Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's full legal advice was "dangerous."

MP Peter Bone leaving 10 Downing Street this month (PA)

He told the Daily Telegraph: "People will naturally think the legal advice does not support their case and that's why they do not want to publish it.

"It's a very dangerous precedent for the executive to defy parliament.

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"Maybe they are trying to publish it until after the vote but that would be an outrage."

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said the situation was completely unacceptable and added Labor would use every parliamentary mechanism available to challenge it.

Labor's Keir Starmer has requested the full legal advice be published (PA)

He is pressing ministers to comply with a binding Commons vote to publish the legal advice after the ministers dropped their opposition to the motion to avoid a damaging defeat.

He said: "At this crucial stage the parliament must be given the necessary information to know precisely what has been agreed and what it is being asked to vote on.

"Labor and Parliament will not accept nothing short of the full legal advice presented to cabinet.

"A legal summary is clearly not enough and will not comply with the unanimous decision made by the House of Commons."

And Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the ERG group of Conservative Brexites, told the Express: "This is a very serious matter.

"If the government did not want to publish the advice it should have opposed the vote, not abstained.

"You can not let a vote to pass unopposed and then say 'yah, boo, sucks we're ignoring it'."

The prime minister's official spokesman said the move was in line with an undertaking given to MPs by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington in the House.

"This is for a full reasoned position of the government's political and legal position on the proposed withdrawal agreement and attached protocols. So the commitment remains as it was set out a couple of weeks ago. "

A cabinet source told the paper that full legal advice to ministers includes a view of the Northern Ireland customs backstop which sees the UK-EU exit mechanism as a effective EU veto on when the UK could leave.

It comes with the government set to reveal its analysis of the economic impact of Brexit as Theresa May struggles to save her for leaving the EU.

Downing Street said the papers will cover a "range of scenarios" as the prime minister seeks to press her case that her agreement represents the only way to protect jobs and investment while avoiding the chaos of a no-deal break.

She will then travel to Scotland for another day of campaigning as the heads of MPs to ordinary voters to support her plan.

The Treasury analysis is expected to be the best deal by Brendit with a no-deal break.

Ministers have also agreed to publish their assessment of the economy on if Britain were to stay in the EU, having been the prospect of a damaging Commons defeat if they refused.


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