The Government were found to be in contempt of Parliament on Tuesday following a crunch vote which saw the Commons vote by 311 to 293 to approve the privilege motion. The Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom confirmed the Government will publish the legal advice in full over Brexit. Losing the crunch vote in the House of Commons sparked a plunge in the pound – to its lowest level in nearly a-year-and-half. But the pound swiftly recovered after another Government defeat to Dominic Grieve’s amendment which could potentially block a no deal Brexit.
Sky News Economics Editor Ed Conway said: “It kind of crept down as investors potentially getting concerned about what was going on in the Commons today. Seeing the way it was going.
“Look at this, when we had that vote coming through, moments ago just look at how the pound reacted. Down to the lowest level there.
“You can see the far-right hand side of this chart, that is the lowest level the pound has been in about a year-and-a-half.
“A very big fall here, it is almost rollercoaster territory for Sterling here at the moment and no doubt as investors look and see what is happening in the Commons over the course of the next few hours we are likely to see more reaction there from the currency market.
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“This is the barometer of just how concerned or indeed encouraged investors are about what is happening with this Brexit debate.”
Around an hour later Mr Conway said the pound had recovered to near where it started the day.
He tweeted: “Having lurched upwards and downwards through the ECJ opinion, the contempt vote and the Grieve amendment, the pound is now back to more or less where it started the day.”
The Government was defeated by an amendment tabled by Dominic Grieve which could rule out a no-deal exit.
The Government lost by 321 votes to 299 on the vote over Mr Grieve’s amendment, which will allow MPs to vote on amendments to the EU exit deal if it is defeated in next week’s meaningful vote.
If Prime Minister May loses the crunch Brexit vote next Tuesday, the Government has 21 days to come back to the Commons to outline what happens next.
Speaking before the vote, Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve said: “But the reality remains that we have an unsatisfactory procedure to resolve differences of opinion in this House, if and obviously, it’s an if, we come to a point where the Government does not succeed on its motion and the opportunity exists this afternoon to cure that anomaly.”
In total, the Government suffered three Brexit defeats on Tuesday evening.