Brexit: Legal Position of Withdrawal Agreement - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:21 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 7:21 pm, 3rd December 2018

I thank the noble Lord for his observations. He goes some way towards explaining why we arrange for these agreements to be interpreted by lawyers, not diplomats. Of course entering into something such as the Northern Ireland protocol involves an element of political judgment; we have to accept that, and the Attorney-General was entirely candid about that. There is a political judgment to be made. There is in the agreement no express right of unilateral withdrawal, and we accept that as well. However, if one or other party decides not to obtemper their obligations, there are mechanisms to address that.