UK Government should release withdrawal agreement legal advice

December 03, 2018 , , ,

Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Position
03 December 2018 
Volume 650

Kevin Brennan, Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts and Heritage):
This was not just any motion; as the right hon. and learned Gentleman says, it was a motion for a return to release papers under parliamentary privilege. There are two reasons why he is wrong: first, he says of his advice, “There’s nothing to see here,” yet he is trying to argue that by releasing it, he would somehow breach considerations of national and public interest. Secondly, under the ministerial code, he can voluntarily release advice in exceptional circumstances without breaching any considerations of national interests, or any of his deeply held principles. Why does he not follow that logic and do the right thing?

Geoffrey Cox, The Attorney-General:
The existence of very rare examples of the Attorney General’s advice being disclosed does not mean that the power ought to be exercised in this case. In the Goldsmith case, it was disclosed two years after the event. We are in the middle of a negotiation.

Kevin Brennan, Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Arts and Heritage):
We have finished the negotiations.

Geoffrey Cox, The Attorney-General:
No, we have not. The future declaration is to be negotiated, and many of the same arguments will apply.


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