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Monday, 3 December 2018

More than quiddities from a lawyer's skull

In other circumstances I would be sympathetic to the government's argument that legal advice it receives is privileged. In most cases, neither the press nor public would be aware that the cabinet had sought or obtained such advice. But Brexit is different. This government, in concert with the EU, is asking the British people and British Parliament to sign up to a solemn international treaty whose terms cut to the heart of the solidity of our Union. For this there must be full disclosure, full transparency and absolute candidness. 

Poor Geoffrey Cox is in an invidious position. He faces being locked up in the clock tower for contempt if he refuses to publish the advice, and faces the wrath of Mrs May if he does. Personally, I'd take the clock tower. The cabinet as always is as leaky as a sieve; the Times already has a leaked extract (it's said that actual numbered copies of the advice document were handed out at cabinet and collected up again afterwards) and today there's a leak of a letter from Robbins in regard to his own treaty that expresses doubt over the backstop. 

On the latter point, I'd forget the lies coming out of Downing Street altogether. Please read Martin Howe QC on the Lawyers for Britain site - his view is not only in line with the leak published in the Sunday Times yesterday, but has also been subject to a half-arsed rebuttal from May's dags - which Mr Howe competently demolishes. 

On top of this, from the wings Bill Cash, himself a former shadow AG, opines that May's deal is unlawful on other grounds - that the Robbins Treaty is incompatible with existing law. Cash writes
Had the Prime Minister sought legal advice she must have been told that this mere treaty cannot override the repeal of the 1972 Act. This is a ‘manifest violation’ of our fundamental constitutional arrangements because Acts of Parliament take precedence over treaty-making prerogative.
So today, which should be 'money' day on May's grid, is actually Secrets and Lies day II. 

And no, don't even ask what Govey is up to because I can't even guess. The last time they hosed out his colon at the Mayr clinic, I guess they flushed away a part of his cerebellum by accident. He surely can't hope to come out of this well, can he?


DeeDee99 said...

If I were Geoffrey Cox, I'd "accidentally" leave the legal advice on a train where, amazingly, it was found 30 seconds later by Asa Bennett of the Daily Telegraph.

Stephen J said...

I wonder if he is related in any way to Jo Cox...

The Coxes have been unlucky of late?

Jack the dog said...

I was curious to see the leaked Oily Robbins letter. What a nasty piece of work he is, but truly there was never a better example of a rat leaving a sinking ship.

John Brown said...

Mr. Gove did not expect the Leave side to win the referendum.

Mr. Gove is simply one of very many Conservative MPs who have pretended to be Eurosceptics in order to gain popularity with the largely Eurosceptic Conservative voters and hence hold off UKIP from any electoral success.

All these MPs will now be found out in the coming few months and leavers will need to ensure that they do not vote for these deceivers in future if they eventually want to see a Eurosceptic, rather than a pro-EU Parliament.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Nick Drew said...

Anyone pinning faint hopes on Gove (however sound his politics when there is nothing personally at stake for him at the time) had better think again. For some while now, he has simply been on the make. Additionally, to all appearancs he is Murdoch's stooge of long standing. That 2012 cartoon had him nailed a long time ago.

If the hour is to bring forth the man, it's certainly keeping us guessing

Mr Ecks said...

Gove is Gollum in a wig. His "precious" is whatever advances Gove. As Gollum does, a bad character might inadvertently serve a good end. Anyone looking at Gove is very likely to be disgusted by his crawling appearance. He makes the late, great Peter Lorre at his weasel-acting best ( as "Joel Cairo" in the Maltese Falcon say) look like an honest and upstanding citizen.

Every TV appearance of Gove boosts a WTO Rules Brexit.

DiscoveredJoys said...

That Woman has painted herself into a corner and hopes that she can walk free if she waits long enough. She is mistaken.

Gove decided to stand behind That Woman and is now even more trapped as long as he want to avoid painty feet and pushing That Woman out of the way. He is mistaken too.

No-one in place when That Woman fails will be rehabilitated any time soon and the 'Mark of May' will always hound them.

Span Ows said...

I used to like Gove, thought he did a splendid job at Education. Since Cameron resigned he has shown his true colours every time, even when he comes out with something good (i.e. a few occasions re fishing industry) he pulls it all down within days by saying what he 'really' meant His wife and previous employment have control.

The retaliation to the the 15 day May onslaught is strong.

Bill Quango MP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Quango MP said...

Journalist Tim Shipman wrote that Gove is a keen player of the political intrigue, games of thrones board game.
A game not for the faint of heart. Monopoly it is not.
It’s all about intrigue. Machinations, lies, deception and a bit of luck.

He claims Tyrion Lannister, the unloved, yet highly intelligent and capable dwarf, the adviser to the queen, as his own champion.

In truth, he is more Little finger.
The double dealing, ruthless, duplicitous knave, who convinces all he is on their side whilst working only for himself.

(Littlefinger finally gets his comeuppance almost at the end of the series. The very capable and easily the cleverest of all the many characters, he finally overplays his rather weak hand, and has his throat slit in season 7

Budgie said...

I like the advice from Bill Cash that the treaty (ex DWA, ex Chequers) is executive prerogative so cannot override the repeal of the ECA 1972 contained within the 2018 EU (Withdrawal) Act passed by Parliament. So Gina Miller and that nice Mr Soros have a use after all.

Another tidbit I was not aware of: Mark Carney is on the General Council of the ECB ( All the bastards are in it together.

Quite separately, Brexit Central has the leaked legal advice from the House of Commons legal team, and an Olly Robbins letter to boot ( Theresa May does not come out well in either.

Cascadian said...

A very good summation at zerohedge entitled

"Theresa May caught in MASSIVE LIE"

Sobers said...

I don't understand the 'Legal advice is privileged so we can't release it' argument. Surely the point is that it is indeed privileged so you can't be 'forced' to make it public, but there's nothing stopping you if you want to? That its not that the government can't release the advice (obviously they have now after the Parliament vote) but that they don't want to, which is a completely different stance?

'I am not allowed by law to do X' is not the same thing as 'I can do X but I don't want to and you can't make me'.