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 Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench 6:30 pm, 12th March 2019

My Lords, can we return to the legal advice, which is the subject of this Statement? Does the noble and learned Lord agree that the legal advice has not changed at all—yes or no?

Further, if we adopt his attractive metaphor about Italianate sculpture, does the Minister agree that if yesterday’s breathless Statement from the Prime Minister, anticipated in the House of Commons, is a fig leaf, if we lift that fig leaf, we will find that behind it are no parts whatever? To proceed towards an impossible, extreme scenario, as suggested by the noble and learned Lord himself, is something that a skilled lawyer in private practice, as the noble and learned Lord has been, would say to every client, “You can’t do it”.