Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Contempt is contempt

Two weeks ago, the UK parliament voted unanimously to order the government to release its full legal advice on Brexit, so that it would be available to them ahead of their "meaningful vote" (whatever that means) on the final deal. But despite accepting at the time that they would have to publish the advice, the government is now refusing to do so:

Downing Street has refused to commit to publishing the full legal advice given on the Brexit deal despite a unanimous resolution by the House of Commons, in a move likely to spark a major new process row with Labour and Tory Brexiters.

No 10 has only agreed to publish a “full, reasoned position statement” – a summary of the legal advice rather than the full text – which Labour said would not comply with the terms of the Commons vote.

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said the offer was completely unacceptable and said Labour would use every parliamentary mechanism available to challenge it.

This is both deceit from the government (quelle surprise), and a naked contempt of parliament. As for what to do about it, over the weekend parliament sent its serjeant-at-arms to arrest a visiting US executive and drag him to parliament to force him to disclose documents about Facebook. They can do no less here: send the serjeant-at-arms to Downing Street, arrest the Prime Minister, and lock her in the clock-tower until she complies.