Exiting the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:00 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 10:00 pm, 11th March 2019

I will say a couple of things in response to the right hon. Gentleman. First, he is right in this respect: the treaties themselves, as he knows, make it clear that the European Court is the final arbiter of the meaning of European law. We have seen that affect, for example, the ratification of the trade agreement with Canada and the agreement with Singapore. The withdrawal agreement is not part of European law, however; the withdrawal agreement and the joint instrument that is now associated with it have the status of treaties under international law, not European law.

Secondly, the right hon. Gentleman referred to the question of arbitration. Frankly, we would not want the EU to have the right to act arbitrarily against us without regard to some due process, so I do not think it is unreasonable for there to be a process.