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Brexit: See how your MP voted on the contempt motion

Brexit: See how your MP voted on the contempt motion”

The six-page document by Geoffrey Cox, the UK Attorney General, was released to MPs a day after the House of Commons found the Conservative Government in contempt of Parliament for trying to keep it secret.

In dramatic scenes at Westminster, the Government bowed to pressure to publish the "final and full" legal advice to Cabinet on the deal after MPs voted by 311 to 293 that its failure to do so amounted to contempt.

Essentially, the amendment gives MPs the power to instruct the Government what action to take if Mrs May's Brexit deal is voted down in Parliament.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that MPs risk destroying the chance of a future trade deal if they vote down the agreement.

May has repeatedly said if lawmakers reject her deal with Brussels, which would see Britain exit the European Union on March 29 with continued close ties, the only alternatives are leaving without a deal or reversing Brexit.

The advice, which is only six pages long, is being avidly read by MPs in the House of Commons in real time, suggests that because of the nature of the Irish backstop arrangement in the Brexit deal, the United Kingdom could be trapped in "protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations" for years ahead.

Wednesday is the second of five days of debates on the deal before the December 11 vote, and follows a first day which saw a series of dramatic defeats for the Prime Minister's struggling administration.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the scheduled Prime Minister's Questions time in the House of Commons, in London, December 5, 2018.

Mrs May indicated on Thursday she had no intention of putting off the vote as it emerged she would need the agreement of MPs to stop it from going ahead.

'If a bad Brexit is forced upon our country and jobs and the economy are not protected, many of our people who have suffered from eight years of austerity will suffer even more, ' he said.

"She either has to go back to Brussels and say no to the backstop or it's no deal".

"People have a concern of the backstop, that we could be in it indefinitely".

May used an interview on BBC radio to press on with her bid to persuade lawmakers to back her deal.

More than 100 Tories have said they will reject it and her Northern Irish allies in the Democratic Unionist Party have also vowed to vote it down.

Under the current deal the "backstop" would come into effect at the end of the Brexit transition period, which is due to last until the end of 2020 but may be extended.

"Despite statements in the Protocol that it is not meant to be permanent and the clear intention of the parties that it should be replaced by alternative, permanent arrangements, in worldwide law the Protocol would endure indefinitely until a superseding agreement took its place", the advice said.

She said the agreement she negotiated with the European Union was "a good deal and one that delivers on the referendum".

Green MP Caroline Lucas questioned Mr Cox's claim earlier this week that the advice should not be published "in the national interest".



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