In an unprecedented move for British politics, Britain’s MPs have ruled today that the UK government is in “Contempt of Parliament” for having refused to publish full details of the legal advice it had previously received on Brexit from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government’s chief legal advisor.
The motion – originally formed by a cross-party contingency of leading lawyers who oppose Prime Minister Theresa May’s current Brexit plans – was submitted to the House Speaker who approved a parliamentary vote to determine whether full details of that advice could be released into the public domain.
The final vote – 311 in favour vs. 293 against – resulted in an almost immediate reduction by British bookies on the odds of a second Brexit referendum – from 13/8 [implied probability: 38%] to 5/4 [44%].
The same odds had stood at 9/4 [30%] in late September.
Brexit Waters Muddied Yet Again
Whilst that advice is as yet to be published, the outcome is a highly symbolic one for supporters of a so-called people’s vote on the final details of Brexit.
Today’s developments in parliament have served up a vote of no confidence in the government as well as an extremely strong indicator that Prime Minister May’s Brexit plans will not be approved by MPs in the upcoming parliamentary vote on December 11th.
However, with the full contents of Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice yet to be released this week – with objections from the UK government that doing so constitutes a threat to the national interest – further controversy may yet lie around the corner, with likely further implications for bookmakers’ prices on the outcome.