The courts have already said minsiters can't break the law
The history of a little-known legal case can help answer a question posed in Monday’s Internal Market Bill debate by the former attorney-general, Jeremy Wright, QC, as to whether a breach of international law would comply with the ministerial code.
The government’s own arguments to the Court of Appeal in 2018, formulated by the First Treasury counsel, reveal its view at the time on whether the code requires ministers to comply with international law. The answer? Unequivocally, it does.
We know because we acted for the appellant in that case.
It is surprising that the government’s legal opinion can have changed so radically in the short period since. Government policies may come and go, but the legal interpretation of documents, particularly those explained by their
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