European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19: Ping Pong

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Series Title
Series Details No.8345 (19.06.18)
Publication Date 19/06/2018
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The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19, introduced by the UK Government in July 2017, was a Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

During the 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and Report Stage in the House of Lords between January and May 2018 the government suffered a series of defeats and fifteen amendments were adopted to the bill, which the government sought to overturn when the bill returned to the House of Commons on the 12-13 June 2018.

The government succeeded in this objective and thus the bill returned to the House of Lords for further consideration on the 18 June 2018. The House of Lords accepted fourteen of the fifteen changes the House of Commons had made the previous week to its own earlier amendments. However, the House of Lords defeated the Government on one key amendment - concerning a Meaningful vote: the House of Lords amended the Bill on a division to require that the Government bring forward an amendable motion at the end of the Article 50 negotiations.

The Government also succeeded in getting adopted at this stage three further amendments to the Bill relating to:

+ Enhanced protection of specific areas of EU law
+ Refugee family unity
+ Sifting Committee

All four amendments from the House of Lords thus needed to be further considered by the House of Commons on the 20 June 2018. This process was called 'ping pong'. The House of Commons voted against all four amendments.

After further negotiations, the House of Lords gave their final agreement to the latest version of the bill on the 20 June 2018. The bill received royal assent on the 26 June 2018.

This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provided details of areas where the two Houses were yet to agree on the text of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ahead of the Commons debate on 20 June 2018.

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Related Links
In Facts, 19.06.18: Now is time for MPs to fight for their say on Brexit
BBC News, 20.06.18: Brexit: Theresa May wins 'meaningful vote' battle
The Guardian 20.06.18: Brexit 'meaningful vote': May wins after rebels accept compromise
LSE Brexit: Blog, 20.06.18: The meaningful vote explained in sticky notes
Institute for Government: Explainers: What has changed on Parliament’s 'meaningful vote'? [21.06.18, and periodically updated]
BBC News, 26.06.18: EU Withdrawal Bill officially becomes law
UK: GOV.UK: Department for Exiting the European Union: Press Release, 26.06.18: The EU (Withdrawal) Bill receives Royal Assent
UK in a Changing Europe: Blog 21.06.18: Tory rebels back down on Brexit vote: but what does that actually mean?
ESO: Key Source: European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
The Guardian, 20.06.18: Brexit: No 10 and rebels stand firm in row over 'meaningful vote'

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