Leaving the European Union - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:16 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hope of Craighead Lord Hope of Craighead Convenor of the Crossbench Peers 7:16 pm, 21st January 2019

My Lords, perhaps I could return to the point that was made that the language used by the EU in describing the effect of the backstop has no legal standing. There may be reason to think that the words it used have a greater force as understood in Europe than we give credit for. It might well be worth asking the Attorney-General to look more closely at the meaning of the words because it would be most unfortunate if the whole thing were to fall apart because of a gulf between what we and the EU think the words mean, and how it regards them as affecting its future conduct. They may well be much stronger than we so far give them credit for. There may be a way through if we really understood what they meant.