Three defeats for PM in Commons Brexit blow


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Media captionThe moment the voting figures were announced and the government was told to disclose its legal advice over Brexit.

Theresa May has suffered three Brexit defeats in the Commons as she set out to sell her EU deal to sceptical MPs.

Ministers will be forced to publish the government’s full legal advice on the deal after MPs found them in contempt of Parliament for issuing a summary.

And MPs backed a motion giving the Commons a direct say in what happens if her deal is rejected next Tuesday.

Mrs May said MPs had a duty to deliver on the 2016 Brexit vote and the deal on offer was an “honourable compromise”.

Addressing the Commons at the start of a five-day debate on her proposed Brexit agreement, Mrs May said Brexit divisions had become “corrosive” to UK politics and the public believed the issue had “gone on long enough” and must be resolved.

MPs will decide whether to reject the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and future relations with the EU on Tuesday 11 December.

In other Brexit-related developments:

What was the legal advice row?

The Commons supported a motion demanding full disclosure of the government’s legal advice, by 311 votes to 293.

The move was backed by six opposition parties, while the Democratic Unionists, which have a parliamentary pact with the Conservatives, also voted against the government.

It came after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox published a summary of the advice on Monday and answered MPs questions for three hours – but said that full publication would not be in the national interest.

Labour had accused ministers of “wilfully refusing to comply” with a binding Commons vote last month demanding they provided the attorney general’s full and final advice.

After Labour demanded the advice should be released ahead of next Tuesday’s key vote on Mrs May’s deal, Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was “unimaginable”

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