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Privilege (Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Advice)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour/Co-operative, Swansea West 2:22 pm, 4th December 2018

That is a very helpful intervention, and it builds on the proposal of the Father of the House.

There is a time constraint here. Obviously, the idea behind the amendment is to kick this into the long grass so that we do not have full legal clarity to make an informed decision when we vote next Tuesday. It is critical that all the legal advice is available to Members before then. If there were a facility to enable the redaction of irrelevant and possibly dangerous facts, figures and information in relation to our national interest, national security, negotiating position and so on, obviously that would be much better. The main question is, are we going to have the full legal advice, or are we going to say, “What can you do? They’ve played the national interest card”? As my right hon. Friend Hilary Benn said, there should be—I hope there will be—a way through this maze, so that we have the full advice before the crucial vote.