Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Mr David JonesMain Page: Mr David Jones (Conservative) - Clwyd West)
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The right hon. Gentleman seeks to give with one hand and take with the other. With the greatest of diffidence and respect, he is not quite right. The unilateral declaration is not incompatible with international law. It reserves the United Kingdom’s right to take all measures available to it in circumstances where the talks have broken down as a result of a breach of article 5, which is the good faith duty. It reinforces and further stresses the United Kingdom’s right to take measures to withdraw from the arrangements if there is a breach of good faith.
No unilateral declaration is worth the paper it is written on if it is objected to. My understanding is that it is not objected to and that it will be deposited alongside the withdrawal agreement and, therefore, will carry legal weight under article 31 of the Vienna convention.