Not So Fast! Westminster’s (Continuous) Oversight of European Affairs Post-Brexit

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Publication Date April 2019
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The UK will not be able to make a clean break from the EU and its laws, irrespective of whether it leaves the EU with or without a deal. Westminster will still want to assess EU legislation; but its existing structures are ill-suited to deal with that task. The House of Commons should abolish the European Scrutiny Committee and concentrate all EU and Brexit scrutiny in the hands of the exiting the EU committee, which was created to monitor the work of the government’s Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU). But that committee should evolve into a new European affairs committee if the government decides to abolish DExEU. In parallel to holding the government to account, Westminster should strengthen its own network of contacts with national parliaments in other EU member-states and with the EU institutions in Brussels. The government has pledged that it will co-operate closely with Westminster in the next phases of Brexit, but in the past it backtracked on its promises – and parliamentarians need a back-up plan

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