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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 Geoffrey Cox Geoffrey Cox The Attorney-General 11:37 am, 25th September 2019

Let me say to my right hon. Friend that the Supreme Court invoked the principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the convention of ministerial accountability to Parliament as a justification for making justiciable the decision to prorogue. That is what it was entitled to do, and it effectively amounts to converting a political convention into a legal rule. That, traditionally, was not thought to be possible; the Supreme Court has decided that it is, and I certainly do not in any way complain with its right to do so. I agree that Parliament has to determine the terms on which we leave, but this Parliament has declined three times to pass a withdrawal Act to which the Opposition had absolutely no objection. [Interruption.]