Stella Creasy debates with Attorney General

There have been 1 exchanges between Stella Creasy and Attorney General

Tue 12th March 2019 Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion 5 interactions (89 words)

Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Opinion

(1st reading: House of Commons)
Stella Creasy Excerpts
Tuesday 12th March 2019

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Attorney General
Mr Geoffrey Cox Portrait The Attorney General - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:10 p.m.

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend; the legal ingredient in any political question must be subordinate, and particularly in connection with this political question. The fact is that there are always legal risks of various kinds. We walk among legal risks all the time—some of us more than others, perhaps—but we do not determine our behaviour by them. We take practical judgments every minute of the day, every day of the week about whether the legal risks we are engaged in are ones that are worth taking. I say to my hon. Friends, as I say to all hon. Members, that we must come to a decision on this question today. I urge the House to consider carefully this: there is no real legal basis to be seriously troubled that the European Union will never reach agreement with us. If it occurs through bad faith, we have further improvements in the deal now. But just because we cannot reach agreement, when the alternative arrangements are now cemented into this deal in a manner they have not been before? I think not, in all candour.

Stella Creasy Portrait Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) (Lab/Co-op) - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:12 p.m.

In layman’s and laywoman’s terms, nothing has changed but something has been added: a year to get the timescale right, and if the Government cannot do that, they are going to try really hard for the next year. It is not possible to unilaterally stop a hard border, but it is possible for the Attorney General single-handedly to admit that all he has done today is amplify, not amend, the original deal that Parliament voted down. To say anything else really is a matter of bad faith.

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

I know that the hon. Lady knows that I have not attempted to say something—[Interruption.] Of course there has been no amending of the treaty, but there has been a supplementary agreement that amplifies, extends and deepens the obligations within it.

Stella Creasy Portrait Stella Creasy - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Mar 2019, 1:12 p.m.

indicated dissent.

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

The hon. Lady can shake her head, but she has to look at the wording—at the text. If I have got something wrong, she will no doubt tell me, but the fact is that there are materially new obligations here in relation to the pace and timetable, and in relation to binding legal commitments on alternative arrangements. These set the context against which and within which the duties in respect of bad faith and best endeavours will be measured. That is a significant difference to the deal.