Damian Green MP: ‘No government has ever published legal advice’ amid calls for Brexit backstop advice to be revealed

Damian Green MP: ‘No government has ever published legal advice’ amid calls for Brexit backstop advice to be revealed

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Conservative MP Damian Green has said that “no government has ever published legal advice” and that it was “not going to happen”, after former Brexit Secretary David Davis called for Theresa May to publish the legal advice given to the Government on the Irish backstop.

Mr Green, the MP for Ashford told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “No government has ever published legal advice about anything. David Davis knows that perfectly well.

“I can see why he is making this call but that is not going to happen.

“It has never happened because of pretty good reasons.

“The lawyers have to give legal advice in private, once you start making documents public you write the documents in a different way.

“What you want from your Attorney General, whose job is to give independent, impartial advice, is to know that legal advice is being given in private to their client.”

Writing in the Sunday Times, Mr Davies said: “Mr Davis said: “If the attorney-general has warned — as has been reported — that the UK will not know when the backstop would end and compared it to being stuck in Dante’s first circle of hell, then it’s time to put an end to this nonsense once and for all.”

“We need the cards laid on the table so we can form a judgment.”

 

'The world is full of conspiracies' 

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Mr Green also dismissed claims that the Prime Minister had already completed a deal.

“It is not [a done deal]. I know the world is full of conspiracy theories and that is one of them,” he said.

“It is not the case that the final deal has already been done but they are very close to the Withdrawal Agreement.

“There is still this problem of what to do about the Irish border because no one wants to see a traditional border there for all the obvious historical reasons, and the desire to preserve the peace process.

“When you have got one part of Ireland outside of the EU and the other inside the EU – How do you do customs agreements? – that is genuinely difficult.

“That is why that is the last thing that can get agreed.”

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