In his Andrew Neil interview, Nigel Farage said the Political Declaration is legally binding if the Withdrawal Treaty is passed. Is this true?

11th Dec 2019

In his interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil, the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage did say: “the Political Declaration, people say it’s not legally binding; actually it is. Because the Treaty, if it’s ratified, Article 184 makes absolutely clear that what is written in the Political Declaration is legally binding.”

This is not correct. Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement does not make the Political Declaration legally binding; it says the UK and the EU “shall use their best endeavours, in good faith and in full respect of their respective legal orders” to negotiate “expeditiously” the agreements referred to in the Political Declaration. This does not translate to a legal and enforceable commitment, according to the House of Commons Library and the Institute for Government.

As we’ve said before, the Political Declaration—which aims for a Free Trade Agreement with the EU—will act as a blueprint for future negotiations.

 

This article is part of our Ask Full Fact series on the 2019 general election, answering your questions about the election, from claims the main parties are making to what happens on polling day.

You can see all the questions we’ve answered so far and we’ll keep adding to it as we get through them.

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