Commenting on the Bar Council’s response, Desmond Browne QC, the Chairman of the Bar said:

"Our submissions emphasise the potentially huge impact of these proposed cuts on access to justice and the diversity of the profession. No account has been taken of the likely consequences in other areas of public expenditure. Ministers will be failing in their duty without a full investigation of their proposals including the impact on Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) practitioners”.

He added:

"These cuts risk creating a two-tier legal system in which only those with private funds can afford proper representation. Such a situation cannot be allowed to develop. We urge the Government to reconsider their proposals before it is too late."