Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Geoffrey Cox Geoffrey Cox The Attorney-General 12:39 pm, 12th March 2019

I will try to obey the hon. Lady’s strictures about comments that I have made before. May I say to her that that is not quite right? I have said that the legal risk is reduced. The legal risk of being held in the backstop by bad faith or by want of best endeavours has reduced. It has reduced because of significant improvements which, as I have said, set the context and benchmark for the enforceability of those important duties. But it is absolutely true, as she rightly says, that the risk of remaining in the backstop absent any fundamental change of circumstance, if no bad faith or if no want of best endeavours is present, remains the same.