Lord Keen: Advocate General for Scotland resigns over Internal Markets Bill

The Lord is the UK Government’s most senior adviser on Scots law.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 6:03 pm

The UK Government’s top advisor on Scots law has resigned over the UK Internal Markets Bill row.

Downing Street has confirmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted a letter of resignation from Lord Keen of Elie QC, Advocate General for Scotland who is also a justice minister.

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Sky News reports that a spokesman from Downing Street said: “Lord Keen has resigned as Advocate General for Scotland. The Prime Minister thanks him for his service.”

Lord Keen of Elie QC, the Advocate General for Scotland and a justice minister, told the House of Lords that the bill did not “constitute a breach of international law or the rule of law.”
Lord Keen of Elie QC, the Advocate General for Scotland and a justice minister, told the House of Lords that the bill did not “constitute a breach of international law or the rule of law.”

It comes after Lord Keen told the House of Lords that the bill did not “constitute a breach of international law or the rule of law.”

He was contradicted, however, by Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, who told MPs that the bill would indeed break international law “in a limited and specific way.”

This morning Mr Lewis told reporters that Lord Keen had been wrong to disagree with the UK Government’s position on the bill.

Lord Keen is understood to have been struggling to reconcile the UK Government's plans to change the Withdrawal Agreement with the law.

A Labour source said the Lord's reputation was "shot" after the disagreement with Mr Lewis.

Lord Keen represented the UK Government at the Supreme Court in Edinburgh during the high profile legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament in 2019.

The Supreme Court judges ruled in favour of Gina Miller, the pro-EU campaigner who challenged the suspension.

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