We won't publish legal advice around scrapping Northern Ireland protocol, says Attorney General

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We won't publish legal advice around scrapping Northern Ireland protocol, says Attorney General - OLI SCARFF /AFP
We won't publish legal advice around scrapping Northern Ireland protocol, says Attorney General - OLI SCARFF /AFP

The government will not publish the legal advice around scrapping the Northern Ireland protocol, the Attorney General Suella Braverman has said.

Speaking on ‘The Take with Sophy Ridge’ on Sky News, Ms Braverman said the government will explain the legal basis so people can understand the decision taken, but that it won't publish full legal advice as this is "incredibly rare".

"We are not going to publish the legal advice.  It is incredibly rare for the government to publish its legal advice," she said.

"I think what the government is doing is it will be setting out a bit more detail about the legal basis so that people have a bit more of an understanding about why we think the action taken is lawful."

The UK has threatened to tear up the Northern Ireland protocol and suspend border checks in the Irish Sea as Unionists argue that it has driven a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

In a recent stand-off with the EU, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss accused the bloc of refusing to expand her counterpart Maros Sefcovic’s mandate to extend to concerns voiced by political parties, such as the DUP.

Ms Truss has pledged to table the legislation on scrapping the protocol “in the coming weeks” and said it was in response to the “very grave and serious situation” in Northern Ireland.

She warned that the row over the Protocol was putting the peace process “under strain”.

Clement Beaune, France's Europe minister accused Boris Johnson of creating an unnecessary drama by threatening to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“We must not give in to this totally false idea that the protocol is the problem and that the EU has not proposed anything: it is exactly the opposite,” he told Politico. "The British government knows this perfectly well.”

As reported yesterday, The Telegraph understands that the European Commission will propose tweaking the bloc’s own laws to ease checks between mainland Britain and the province in an effort to end the long-running row over Brexit rules.

According to sources, Mr Sefcovic, the EU’s chief negotiator, set out the olive branch in a call with Ms Truss after weeks of acrimony between the pair.

Ms Truss said she wanted to make it “crystal clear” that talks with the EU would continue “in parallel” with the passage of the law through the Commons, which could take up to a year.

However, she warned the “urgency of the situation” means that the Government has no choice but to act now to end the “unnecessary bureaucracy” of controls.

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