Geoffrey Cox joked about his “codpiece” on Thursday as he promised to publish his legal advice on any revised Brexit deal.
The attorney general has been holding talks in Brussels in an attempt to secure changes to the Northern Ireland backstop that will satisfy pro-Brexit Tory MPs.
This has been dubbed “Cox’s codpiece” by Brexiteers who remain unconvinced.
Speaking in the Commons today about his negotiations, he told MPs: “It has become known as Cox’s Codpiece and it is my job to ensure everything within it is in full working order.”
The attorney general promised to let MPs and the public see the legal advice that underpinned a re-drafted Brexit agreement.
“I shall publish my legal opinion on any document that is produced and negotiated with the EU,” he said.
But Tory MP Mark Francois said Cox could not be objective when ruling on the legality of any new deal as he had been involved in drafting it.
“He will end up examining his own codpiece in front of the House of Commons,” he said.
Philip Hammond today warned eurosceptic MPs that if they rejected the PM’s deal then it was likely parliament would vote to delay leaving the EU and opt for a softer Brexit.
Theresa May is facing a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday when she takes her Brexit deal back to MPs following its overwhelming rejection in January by a majority of 230.
Tory Brexiteers have been demanding legally-binding assurances the UK cannot be tied indefinitely to EU rules through the backstop, intended to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, talks in Brussels on Tuesday between the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay and Cox broke up without agreement.