|Author (Corporate)||United Kingdom: Parliament|
|Publisher||United Kingdom: Parliament|
|Content Type||Key Source, Policy-making, Report|
This ESO records traces the progress of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 through the House of Commons and House of Lords.
House of Commons
+ Ping Pong Stage, 18-20 June 2018. The House of Lords agreed on the 20 June 2018 to the latest version of the bill as presented to it from the House of Commons on that day. The bill received Royal Assent on the 26 June 2018.
Now that the Act had become law, the Government could start to use the powers in the Act to prepare the statute book for exit from the EU. Work on this would begin in the coming weeks as Departments started to lay the relevant secondary legislation in Parliament.
This marked the next essential step in ensuring that the UK was ready for life after the UK had left the European Union.
In total, it was expected that around 800 pieces of secondary legislation would be needed. As part of the first tranche to be laid, the Government would use powers in the Bill to repeal the European Union Act 2011 as agreed by Parliament.
Alongside this programme of secondary legislation, Departments were delivering on a further package of Bills which would deliver the more significant policy changes needed as a result of exit from the EU.
Note that initially, and sometimes subsequently, the Bill was called (informally) the Repeal Bill or Great Repeal Bill.
The programme was dominated by proposed legislation dealing with the United Kingdom's planned leaving of the European Union. Eight of the twenty seven bills to be introduced were connected with Brexit.
+ European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (introduced on the 13 July 2017)
The Institute for Government maintained a tracking service called Parliamentary progress of legislation introduced to implement Brexit.
In addition to the bill lists above the tracker also listed some additional bills introduced during 2017-19 with a Brexit connection:
+ Animal welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill
Even though the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was introduced in July 2017 parliamentary scrutiny in practice only began in the autumn of 2017 after the summer break. Opposition parties, human rights groups and the leaders of Scotland and Wales criticised aspects of the bill and suggested they would call for substantive amendments.
During the Committee Stage of the Bill in November and December 2017 the House of Commons Library produced a series of Research Briefings on aspects / articles of the Bill:
+ The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Clause 7 'the correcting power'
The Library of the House of Lords also produced a briefing guide in January 2018
The House of Lords Constitution Committee published a critical report on the Bill on 29 January 2018.
The Committee did not comment on the merits of Brexit, but concluded that the Bill, as drafted, had fundamental flaws of a constitutional nature. The Committee found that the Bill risked undermining the legal certainty it sought to provide, gave overly-broad powers to ministers, and had significant consequences for the relationship between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.
The Committee proposed a number of recommendations to improve the Bill to make it more constitutionally appropriate and fit for purpose, while still meeting the Government’s objectives.
Linked politically but separately the UK Government had announced on the 13 November 2017 a new Bill to enshrine the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU in domestic law.
The Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill would give legal standing to separation from the EU.
It would confirm that the major policies set out in the Withdrawal Agreement would be directly implemented into domestic law by primary legislation – not by secondary legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. This would allow for Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight of the process.
Another area of ongoing contention was relating to the allocation of powers between the UK and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
|Countries / Regions||United Kingdom|