What is the 'Star Chamber'?

Nigel Dodds

Deputy DUP leader Nigel Dodds is a member of the 'Star Chamber'

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mentions of the 'Star Chamber' have been banded about in the world of politics this week - but what is it? 

The 'Star Chamber' is a group of Eurosceptic lawyers who have been assembled in an Avengers-esque fashion by the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The group have been tasked with scrutinising Theresa May's Brexit deal, in particular, arrangements on the backstop.



The group includes Conservative MPs Bill Cash, David Jones, Suella Braverman, Michael Tomlinson, Robert Courts and former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, plus deputy DUP leader Nigel Dodds and barrister Martin Howe, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate who specialises in EU law.

Today the group gave their verdict on Theresa May's latest Brexit deal, which she claimed ensured that the Irish backstop could not be permanent.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is a member of the 'Star Chamber'

However, the Star Chamber said the deal would give the UK no "internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement", advice echoed by the government's top lawyer, Geoffrey Cox, this afternoon.

Following their advice, the ERG has recommended to other MPs that they do not back Mrs May's Brexit deal.

The name has attracted attention online, with some cracking jokes about their chosen title.

One Twitter user, Sathnam Sanghera, wrote: "Those MPs referring to themselves the "Star Chamber" reminds me of the 15 minutes of my youth when I decided I wanted to be known as Blade."

Historically, the Star Chamber was an English court of law which sat at the Palace of Westminster from the late 1400s to the mid 1600s.