May 26, 2022

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Why the government’s most senior attorney resigned

Why the government’s most senior attorney resigned
When Sir Jonathan Jones announced his resignation as head of the Government Legal Department yesterday, he gave no reason for his abrupt departure. But there was little doubt about what led to his decision.The “baby-faced former barrister” had long questioned the legality of the government’s Brexit strategy, The Telegraph reports. Increasingly unhappy, he “had made…

When Sir Jonathan Jones revealed his resignation as head of the Federal government Legal Department yesterday, he gave no factor for his abrupt departure. But there was little doubt about what resulted in his choice.

The “baby-faced former lawyer” had long questioned the legality of the government’s Brexit strategy, The Telegraph reports. Significantly unhappy, he “had actually made that clear to his inner circle in current days”.

In the end, he “quit over Boris Johnson’s proposal to row back on parts of last year’s Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland”, says the Financial Times

Hours later on, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis yielded that Johnson’s plan “does break global law in a very specific and restricted way”.

The admission “resulted in a gush of criticism”, states The Guardian, “including from the previous prime minister Theresa May, who questioned whether Boris Johnson was running the risk of the UK’s international track record as a credible country“.

According to the Financial Times, Jones had formerly made a personal request for independent legal advice to establish whether the federal government might be “in breach of the ministerial code that requires ministers to follow the law”.

And in February, he had openly restated the value of respecting worldwide responsibilities.

” Basically, international law is the law,” he informed the Institute for Federal Government “It originates from responsibilities the government has participated in through treaty. The federal government goes through the guideline of law and will comply with those responsibilities.”

By then, he had “come close to resigning” once already, says The Telegraph, when the government said it may overlook the Benn Act, which would have required Johnson to ask Brussels for a Brexit extension if no offer might be concurred.

” One source stated he had chosen versus it after concluding that in spite of instructions to the media, the government did not in fact plan to break the law,” the paper reports.

This time, he appears to have actually reached the opposite conclusion.

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