EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the House of Commons, June 2018

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Series Details June 2018
Publication Date 12/06/2018
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The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill completed its stages in the House of Lords on the 16 May 2018 and returned to the House of Commons for consideration on 12-13 June 2018.

The House of Lords had adopted fifteen amendments to the bill, which were opposed by the Government. The Government sought to overturn the amendments on its return to the Commons.

Pro-Remain campaigners hoped that enough Conservative MPs would join with other pro-Remain MPs to ensure that some of the amendments would stand. However, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit Minister David Davis appealed to all Conservative MPs on the 11 June 2018 to support the Government in its negotiating strategy. There was significant backroom negotiations between the government and party factions.

In the event the Government succeeded in overturning all the critical amendments adopted by the House of Lords. The main focus of discussion was

1. the precise nature of the assurances given to pro-Remain supporting Conservative Party MPs on the issue of a 'meaningful vote' in Parliament on a final Brexit deal.
2. the protests by Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs and Scottish Government Ministers at the lack of time during the debate for discussion of devolution issues.
3. Divisions within the Labour Party.

The Bill returned to the House of Lords for the upper house to consider on the 18 June 2018 the Bill as now presented after the votes in the House of Commons on 12-13 June 2018. This process would continue until all outstanding points of disagreement between the two Houses were resolved (the process known as 'ping pong').


The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was introduced into the United Kingdom Parliament by the UK Government in July 2017.

The bill aimed to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and incorporate EU law into UK law on the day the UK left the EU. It also aimed to create temporary powers to make secondary legislation once the UK has left. It also aimed to incorporate any withdrawal agreement into UK law.

Between January and May 2018 the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK Parliament, examined the EU Withdrawal Bill at 2nd Reading, Committee Stage, Report Stage and 3rd Reading. The UK Government was defeated on a number of occasions and fifteen amendments to the bill were adopted.

The amendments were to considered on the floor of the House of Commons on the 12-13 June 2018.

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