Sir Oliver Heald contributions to the Immigration (Armed Forces) Bill 2017-19


Tue 12th March 2019 Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion (Commons Chamber)
1st reading: House of Commons
3 interactions (98 words)

Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion

(1st reading: House of Commons)
Sir Oliver Heald Excerpts
Tuesday 12th March 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Attorney General
Mr Geoffrey Cox Portrait The Attorney General - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:23 p.m.

I would need to see the hon. Lady’s quotation in detail. The position is that if you agree and put your name to a joint instrument of this kind, you are bound by it. You are bound by it as to its interpretation and, if it expresses agreement to specific operational commitments, as this one does, you are bound by it on those, because it is an agreement that you will then carry out those specific commitments. It is an agreement, so we should not get hung up on labels. The question is: what is its substance? It is binding.

Sir Oliver Heald Portrait Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:23 p.m.

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that article 31 of the Vienna convention makes it perfectly clear that this protocol does have legal force, is binding and is of equal status to the treaty? Does he also agree that substantial, legally binding changes have been delivered, and that it is wrong to read just one paragraph of his legal advice—one has to read each paragraph of it? When it comes to paragraph 17 of his advice, my right hon. and learned Friend makes it clear that this is a substantial change in the level of risk.

Mr Geoffrey Cox Portrait The Attorney General - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:24 p.m.

I think I had better just say that I agree with that one.