Richard Drax 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 (77 words)

Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion

(1st reading: House of Commons)
Richard Drax 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, 11:30 a.m.

It does make perfect sense. I have to say that I would have preferred to have seen a right of termination, mitigated and graduated, fairly balancing and apportioning risk, and only useable in a last resort, but the Union was not willing to agree to such a reasonable—and what I considered to be moderate—proposal. I agree with the hon. Lady, which is why I voted for the deal. It is sensible that that assurance can be given, and that is why the British Government have given it. I would say, though, that best endeavours is not—particularly now, with the context heightened and the benchmarks tightened—a meaningless duty, because best endeavours requires that a party should consider proposals that are contrary to its interests, and it may have to accept them. A party cannot go on refusing something that requires a reasonable adjustment in its position.

Richard Drax Portrait Richard Drax (South Dorset) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 11:30 a.m.

Good faith; best endeavours; trust. May I tell my right hon. and learned Friend that they have run out? Many in this country do not trust the EU, and I am sad to say that many in this country do not trust many MPs in this place to deliver what the vote told this country to do. Surely the only option now is to get a clean break, leave on 29 March and get our country back.

Mr Geoffrey Cox Portrait The Attorney General - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 11:30 a.m.

I understand my hon. Friend’s frustrations, but I do not agree with his language. I have found those with whom we are doing business in the European Union to be perfectly reasonable and rational people, and I have no complaint about the manner in which negotiations have been conducted—they have always been conducted with cordiality and civility on both sides—so I do not believe that we cannot trust them to reach a deal, because it is in the interests of the Union itself.