THE Attorney General and failed Conservative leadership candidate Suella Braverman is facing a backlash from government lawyers after banning them from telling ministers that policies are unlawful.

A former attorney general has described the position as “idiotic”.

Braverman sent guidance to lawyers explaining that they should give a percentage chance of policies being challenged, rather than detailing their legality, the Telegraph has revealed.

Lawyers will state both the likelihood of a challenge and then of winning or losing – with only line managers or legal directors able to sign off on a verdict of a policy being "unlawful".

The National:

While lawyers questioned the point of their role following Braverman’s message, government sources have expressed anger after being challenged on the legality of their policies.

A Home Office source told the newspaper: “If we come and say we want something, they come back and say it is unlawful and we think there is a 70% chance of losing.

“They don’t go: ‘Well, there is a 30% chance a judge would find it lawful so we should go for it. There will be some who say it is unlawful because of x, y, z reasons rather than: ‘How can we make a legal argument that it is lawful’?”

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Former Tory MP Grieve described the decision as “very strange” given that Boris Johnson is already “rather keen” on pressing on despite the advice of lawyers.

He said: “I can't really work out why this has been done," he said. "Clearly, the duty of government lawyers is always – if they're confronted with a problem, and asked whether something is likely to be successfully challenged – to give their best advice based on their understanding of the law.

The National: Dominic Grieve said he is putting ministers on notice over the so-called 'Henry VIII' powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

“But if they consider that something on the basis of precedent and its nature is unlawful, they should be in a position to be able to say so.”

Concerns have been raised over the specific impact when considering international law.

When it comes to obligations in international law – such as on treaties – there may be no arbitration process.

This means Braverman’s move could make it easier for ministers to breach international law.