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Exiting the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 10th December 2018.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Chair, European Scrutiny Committee 3:45 pm, 10th December 2018

The Prime Minister knows that the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration both cover many legal issues beyond the backstop, important and vital though that is. Those issues include the European Court, control over our own laws and questions relating to compatibility with the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Under the ministerial code, there is an absolute obligation to consult the Attorney General formally and in good time before committing to critical decisions that involve legal considerations. Under the order of the House of, I think, 4 December, the Government must publish in full the Attorney General’s advice on both the withdrawal agreement and the framework. So far, the only advice that has been published is on the Northern Ireland protocol. Did the Prime Minister seek the Attorney General’s advice, under the code, on both these matters in good time, or did she not? If she did seek his advice, why has it not been published?