Watching the PM in the Commons is, even with his track record, still jaw-dropping.

Apparently provisions overriding int’l & domestic law are to preserve “territorial integrity”.

How many States has his own govt criticised for claiming the same?
Repeating “the British people” endlessly, as if it’s an answer as to why he signed it, sold it, was elected on it.

It feels as if we stepped back into 2019.
Hear hear, @Ed_Miliband.

“ I never thought respecting international law, in my lifetime, would be a matter of disagreement. “

The PM - to his shame - shakes his head and rolls his eyes at him, as though he had said something extraordinary.
Again. Three excellent questions from @Ed_Miliband on violating international law.

1) Is it right?
2) Is it necessary?
3) is it in our national interest?

No. We are known around the world for the rule of law.
Again, so glad to see @Ed_Miliband emphasising that this is not about Remain vs Leave. It’s an argument about right vs wrong.

Shocking it should need saying in 21st Century Britain. Tiny glimpses of hope at least to see MPs of all stripes standing up for the rule of law.
This is fantastic from Miliband.

Tory MPs , who supported & campaigned on the deal, *should* be mortified.

On Johnson’s food blockade argument. "This is as ridiculous an argument as I've ever heard, even by his arguments."
He comments on the irony of a critical point.

“This bill does precisely nothing to address issue of transport of food from GB to NI." It’s about 2 issues on international law- (i)exit declarations NI to GB & (ii) state aid in NI.”
Urges Johnson to state what clause protects the threat he says he is worried about, on GB to NI exports.

Johnson sits there in sulky silence.

Miliband responds: he didn’t read the protocol, he hasn’t read the bIll, he doesn’t know his stuff.
Miliband repeats Major/Blair: The Bill puts the GFA at risk because it negates the predictability, political stability & legal clarity integral to the delicate balance between N and S Ireland that is at the core of the peace process.”
Blistering form from Miliband.

“He may not believe them but he will, I hope believe himself because this is what he said:

There are political circs in NI that deserve particular respect & sensitivity, & that is what have received in the deal. It’s a great deal for NI..”
🔥 🔥
Miliband continues:

“This is not just legislative hooliganism on any issue. It is on the most sensitive issues of all."

The PM and Tory MPs who plan to vote with him should feel ashamed by everything Miliband is pointing out.
Miliband shreds the “this was all a bit of a rush” argument.

“What the PM is [telling us today] is that his flagship deal, the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said was oven-ready, the deal on which he fought & won the GE, is now contradictory & ambiguous.”
“What incompetence.What failure of governance.How dare he try & blame everyone else.This time,he can't blame [May].He can't blame Major.He can't blame the judges.He can't blame the civil servants.He can't sack the Cabinet secretary again...his deal,his mess,his failure.”
I’ve missed a bit here, inc on International law. But this is Miliband truly demolishing each and every one of the govt’s arguments.

Johnson looks slumped & surly.
“This is a new way of thinking about legal questions. It now turns out that breaking the law specifically & in a limited way is a reasonable defence for this govt.

We’ve all heard of self-defence, the alibi defence, the innocence defence & now the Johnson defence.”
Miliband quotes Priti Patel today on the new Covid rules saying the majority will abide by the law but a small minority won’t.

“You couldn’t make it up. The Johnson defence means something v specific:

One rule for the British public & another rule for this govt.”
Miliband emphasises that reneging on an agreement we made a year ago would make them less likely to trust us.

We need a deal. We know the risks of No Deal. The PM is wrong that this is a good outcome.
“We’re in the biggest economic crisis for 300 years, the biggest public health crisis for 100 years. No deal is not some game. It’s about the livelihood of millions of people across our country.”

Hear hear.
“This is a signal we're sending to our friends & allies around the world. The country known for the rule of law. The country that abides by the law. The country that founded international law...That's why we cannot support this bill and we will oppose it tonight.”

“A Prime Minister that is casual not to say cavalier & reckless about the gravity of the issues he confronts...he is cavalier on international law, he is cavalier on our traditions, this is not the serious leadership we need, that’s why we will oppose this Bill tonight.”

Well. I didn’t mean to live tweet the whole of Miliband’s speech. It was brilliant, what the moment required & the total opposite of the mendacious, nonsensical arguments of the PM. I was transfixed.

But I must get back to my desk. No doubt brilliant @IanDunt is continuing...
Take a bow, @Ed_Miliband.

A masterclass in political speeches. A mastery of his subject, and of each point he needed to make.

From his poor body language, slumping in his seat. Johnson must have known he had been undone by that speech.

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More from @WomaninHavana

27 Sep
Post-Grenfell, thousands of us still live in flammable homes, for which we were never responsible & are now liable for financial cost, untold stress & inability to move. The silence has been deafening, govt urgency lacking. End the hidden housing scandal.…
Huge appreciation for the tireless efforts of @insidehousing @PeteApps to keep drawing attention to the extent of the #claddingscandal. Thanks also now to @Lees_Martina @thesundaytimes for pushing this new campaign. There is no excuse, none, for @mhclg @RobertJenrick to ignore.
Glad so many names supporting #EndOurCladdingScandal, incl @SadiqKhan @AndyBurnhamGM @MikeAmesburyMP , former UNSR for Housing @leilanifarha. But, where are the rest?

Over 3 years, as the developers responsible just keep on building - did Govt just pretend not to see us all?
Read 7 tweets
24 Sep
These highly unacceptable personal attacks on @elliereeves by the Attorney General are not befitting of her office.

She also seems to suggest "patriotism" fixes a failure to uphold the rule of law.

Dear Reader, it does not.

As the UK repeatedly reminds China, Belarus, Iran...
For the avoidance of doubt, the use of "emotional" when responding to a fair question on the rule of law by the shadow AG, a female MP & barrister, is intended as a put-down, not much different from "calm down, dear."

Whether that comes from a male or female MP, unacceptable.
I should add that there was nothing 'illogical' either about the q asked.

Many of us have been asking it. Many of us want to know how violating the rule of law - both international & domestic - can be supported by a Law Officer.
(See this on domestic.)…
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep
Amidst all the noise, we have more Covid restrictions being brought in on Monday without parliamentary debate or scrutiny.

It’s almost as though it’s becoming a habit to bypass that sovereign parliament...
The restrictions will again have a v serious effect on family life, with potentially v disruptive & painful impact on older people and other groups. They will severely impact other fundamental rights. It sounds as they may be long-lasting.

Parliament’s voice matters.
These are important matters. We need to know that proportionality has been properly considered & equality impact assessments have been conducted.

In short, we need to talk about this slew of regulations that Parliament is being deprived of scrutinising.
Read 9 tweets
10 Sep
This statement by AG @SuellaBraverman contains fundamental omissions, misunderstandings or misrepresentations.

Crucially, it waves a populist flag for parliamentary sovereignty as if that was an answer to the international law problem created by govt in its Bill.

It is not. /1
She argues that because Parliamentary sovereignty forms part of our domestic constitutional arrangements, Plmnt can enact whatever it wants, irrespective of international law & treaty obligations freely entered into.

That isn't an answer to the q of breach, but a flag wave. /2
In common with the many countries whom Britain has called upon to respect & adhere to its int'l law obligations, Britain is required to act in accordance with its treaty obligations. Bandying about the language of parliamentary sovereignty does not sidestep that obligation. /3
Read 6 tweets
8 Sep
I have just emerged from a long desk day advising on the law of the land to discover it has been a shameful day for law, and the rule of law, in the UK.

Something is rotten in any state that promotes this.

And one doesn’t get credit for breaking just a little bit of the law.
And you can take that also from a former Lord Chancellor.

Struggling to close my jaw as I catch up on today’s developments faultlining where law meets politics.
And we can tune in now to hear it from the UK’s former Ambassador to the US @KimDarroch, as well.

I’m still dumbfounded by @BrandonLewis comments on international law. Break the law a tiny bit.
Read 8 tweets
12 Jul
Patel’s response to the Leicester sweatshop allegations is typically depressing. Who else can we blame for something we (& local govt) did know about, & chose to do nothing? Presumably someone in govt read @sarahoconnor_ in 2018, & heard her evidence to Plmntry select committee?
This is a govt of ideological deregulation. The “Britannia Unchained” govt. Deregulation was a key Brexit argument.

Read @sarahoconnor_ recent TL as a reminder of what she published, & what govt priorities were instead of health & safety of workers.
If you haven’t read this on the Leicester garnet sweatshops by @sarahoconnor_, it’s free to read in the FT.
Read 4 tweets

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