Legal Advice: Prorogation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:37 am on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Independent, Beaconsfield 11:37 am, 25th September 2019

I am extremely mindful of the difficult task that my right hon. and learned Friend has as Attorney General in providing advice to Government, and I am sorry if his legal advice has been partially leaked, because he is entitled to give advice in private. Without that, he cannot do his work. I would also say that for him to get the law wrong in an area of difficulty is not necessarily something to be held to his discredit, but he may agree with me that one of the issues in this matter was one not just law but propriety, and the propriety went to the unconstitutional or constitutional nature of the act of Prorogation itself, in view of the motivation of the Government for doing it. In those circumstances, I was struck by the fact that in the leaked document his opinion is referred to as believing it is constitutional, when I had understood from comments he made as far back, I think, as July, when Prorogation was first being mooted in order to achieve a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, that he considered that such an act would be unconstitutional. I wonder therefore whether this is not one issue that he ought to clarify.