The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at how UK Prime Minister Theresa May has managed to unite pro-European Labour MPs and Brexiteer conservatives by refusing to release the full ‘legal advice’ provided by UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
According to Zerohedge, May is stoking suspicions that she is trying to hide the fact that the Brexit deal, as it’s currently written, could result in the UK being stuck inside the EU customs union in perpetuity – a scenario that Brexiteers have warned would reduce the UK to a ‘vassal state’ of Europe.
Angry ministers have threatened everything from calling a vote of no confidence in the government to holding Cox in contempt if No. 10 Downing Street doesn’t authorize the release of the unabridged legal advice. But in an act of defiance, May on Monday released a 43-page summary of the AG’s advice that one reporter said appeared to leave out most of the AG’s most controversial findings.
As we noted earlier, a leaked analysis shows that May lied to lawmakers when she said there was no risk of the UK being trapped inside the customs union. As the Guardian explains, while the text of the withdrawal agreement clearly states that any end to the ‘backstop’ must happen by consensus (which, assuming the backstop is eventually triggered, would happen once a new trade deal has been reached) between the UK and the EU. So Brexiteers’ warnings have a clear basis in the text of the agreement. However, many MPs are suspicions that AG Cox was more negative about this in private than he has been in public.
Some Labour MPs have warned that, by refusing, May has risked sparking a constitutional crisis. This is because MPs voted last month to force the government to release the legal advice “in full”. But May has effectively ignored these demands and continued to withhold Cox’s unabridged advice. The controversy has prompted at least one conservative MP, Sam Gyimah, to quit his cabinet post in protest, saying that releasing the unabridged advice is vital to “restoring trust in politics,” according to the BBC.