UK Government refuse to release full legal advice on May's Brexit deal

November 29, 2018 , , ,

Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Advice
29 November 2018 
Volume 650

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab):
The Solicitor General has a wonderful Welsh gift for words, but may I remind him of what Disraeli once said?

“A majority is always better than the best repartee.”

There was a majority—in fact, a unanimous vote in the House—in favour of a motion for a return, which is not a request for a statement but a request for information to be published with the protection of parliamentary privilege. It is the duty of the Government to publish that information following the decision of the House, but if they still do not want to do that, the Solicitor General has already said that they could do it voluntarily. ​The full legal advice will come out eventually, and history will not look kindly on the Government, or on any members of the Government, if they have kept from the House relevant information within that legal advice.

The Solicitor General:
The hon. Gentleman is a compatriot of mine and is no stranger to the wizardry of rhetoric. He reminds me of Disraeli’s comment on Gladstone that at times he might be inebriated by the intoxication of his own verbosity— but not today. I take his point, but I will say this to him: I would be failing in my duty if I did not defend robustly the Law Officers convention. That is what I am doing today, and that is what I must continue to do.

Mr Speaker:
The correct reference is

“inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity”,

but what I would say is that the Solicitor General is no more in a position to level that charge at the hon. Gentleman than I would be.


View in Hansard here.