Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Advice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:34 am on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 10:34 am, 29th November 2018

I commend Keir Starmer on securing this urgent question. A dangerous pattern is developing here. First, the Government tried to avoid their obligations under a previous Humble Address to release their impact assessments, and on two instances, senior Conservative ex-Ministers were given guarantees by Ministers at the Dispatch Box, which they then claimed publicly had been broken. Now we see the Government trying to wriggle out of yet another binding decision of this House.

Mr Speaker, this is not the time or the place to re-run the discussion about whether it was a good idea for that motion on an Humble Address to have been passed. How ironic that the Government want to re-run a debate on something that has already been voted on—just think about that! This is not the time to discuss its merits. As has been said, if the Government did not want to comply with the instruction, they should have instructed their MPs to vote against it. The reason they did not was that they knew they would have lost the vote.

Does the Solicitor General accept the ruling of the Chair that this decision is binding on the Government? If so, when do the Government intend to comply with the instruction they have had from representatives of the sovereign citizens of these islands?