Withdrawal Agreement: Attorney General’s legal opinion on the Joint Instrument and Unilateral Declaration - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Liberal Democrat 6:30 pm, 12th March 2019

My Lords, the noble and learned Lord emphasised the importance in the joint instrument of urgency. Indeed, paragraph 7 of the Attorney-General’s opinion today states:

“Therefore, provided the United Kingdom can clearly demonstrate in practice that it is effectively organised and prepared to maintain the urgent pace of negotiations that they imply, the EU could not fail to match it without being at risk of breaching the best endeavours obligation”.

As the Minister has emphasised that this is political, perhaps rather more than legal, I ask him a political question. Can he give the House three examples of when, since March 2017, the United Kingdom Government, in dealing with Brexit, have clearly demonstrated in practice that it is effectively organised?