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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: UPDATED Briefing

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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill*

  • Next steps for the Bill in the Lords – and beyond… 
  • Labour Lords frontbench approach – including cross-party amendments
  • Additional amendments from the Labour Lords frontbench
  • NEW quotes from Baroness Smith of Basildon & Baroness Dianne Hayter

 

Next steps for the Bill in the Lords – and beyond…

  • Committee stage: 10 days on the floor of the House, possibly more, starting Wednesday 21st February followed by a series of Mondays and Wednesdays through until (at least) the Easter Recess.
  • The initial tranche of Committee stage amendments are now available at the Bill’s homepage on the Parliament website, with many more likely to follow from around the House. Votes at Committee have become rare over the past few years, with a mere 9 since the end of the start of the 2012/3 session – but these of course, remain a possibility.
  • Report stage will take place beyond Easter recess, but no less than two weeks after the completion of Committee. Report is when most votes happen in the Lords. If the Bill has 10 days in Committee, there would be an expectation of 5 days in Report; and for each extra day of Committee, a half-day of Report would follow, e.g. 11 days of Committee = 5 and half days report; 12 days of Committee = 6 days of Report. Lords votes (at any stage) are not scheduled in the same way as the Commons and take place following amendment debates, with most key divisions occurring between 4pm and 7.30pm.
  • Third Reading: this would take place at least one week after the end of Report stage and is currently anticipated for some point during May. Votes at this stage are possible, but most likely to be informed by how debates during the Report stage play out, e.g. if the government fails to deliver on a previously indicated concession.
  • Commons consideration of Lords amendments: whether government concessions (including those taking place between Committee and Report), minor technical changes or voted defeats, this stage of the Bill would be likely to happen soon after Lords Third Reading – with potential of course for parliamentary ping-pong.

 

Labour Lords frontbench approach – including cross-party amendments

Having monitored proceedings in the Commons and reflected during Second Reading, the Labour Lords frontbench will seek many changes to this Bill during its passage through the Lords. Due to the nature of this Bill, our primary focus will be on a range of legal and technical issues. So far, we have either tabled or signed up to approximately fifty amendments, with the majority designed to address the following 8 priorities:

  • A meaningful role for Parliament at the end of the negotiations
  • Ensuring a role for Parliament in the event of no deal
  • Facilitating a time-limited transitional period on current terms
  • Removing the Government’s exit day
  • Enhanced protection for EU-derived rights and protections
  • Limiting the scope of delegated (Henry VIII) powers
  • Ensuring respect for the Good Friday Agreement
  • Ensuring repatriated powers are passed to the devolved administrations

 

1. ‘A meaningful role for Parliament at the end of the negotiations’:

  • While pleased by the addition of Dominic Grieve MP’s amendment to Clause 9 (making the use of powers in that Clause conditional on the passing of a statute on the terms of the withdrawal agreement), the Bill still doesn’t go far enough in giving Parliament a meaningful role in agreeing the outcomes of the negotiations.
  • We are therefore seeking amendments to Clause 9 to formalise the Prime Minister’s stated commitment to hold a vote in the UK Parliament before the European Parliament decides whether or not to adopt the final withdrawal agreement.

Amendment:

Meaningful process

Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, Lord Wallace of Saltaire LD, L Hannay of Chiswick XB, L Patten of Barnes CON

Clause 9, page 7, line 9, at end insert—

“(1A) The statute provided for by subsection (1) must include the terms of the withdrawal agreement and make provision for any transitional arrangements which have been negotiated within or alongside the withdrawal agreement.

(1B) In addition to the statute provided for by subsection (1), the Secretary of State must, as a further precondition of making regulations under subsection (1), seek interim approval for the withdrawal agreement by means of motions in both Houses of Parliament, with such motions to be voted on, so far as practicable, before the European Parliament votes on the withdrawal agreement.”

 

2. ‘Ensuring a role for Parliament in the event of no deal’:

  • Although Dominic Grieve’s amendment was intended to formalise the government’s commitment to introduce a European Union (Withdrawal Agreement & Implementation) Bill, this legislation we are about to scrutinise currently affords no role to Parliament in the event of a ‘no deal’ outcome.
  • We are therefore, seeking to amend Clause 14 to expand the definition of “withdrawal agreement” to include either a negotiated settlement or a failure to achieve a settlement. This will ensure powers delegated to Ministers under Clause 9 could not be used to prepare for no deal unless Parliament had approved this. 

Amendment:

Dealing with ‘no deal’

L Jay of Ewelme XB, Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, Bns Ludford LD, B Wheatcroft CON

Clause 14, page 10, line 41, at end insert—

“”final terms of withdrawal” means the same as “withdrawal agreement”;”

Clause 14, page 11, line 37, at end insert “, or the absence of an agreement”

 

3. ‘Facilitating a time-limited transitional period on current terms’:

  • Concerns were expressed on all sides of the Commons that the Bill undermines the Prime Minister’s aim, as expressed in her Florence speech, to secure a time-limited transitional period beyond the end of the Article 50 negotiations in March 2019.
  • Labour has consistently called for a transitional period based on current terms (i.e. within the Single Market and Customs Union). Having failed to amend the Bill to this effect in the Commons, we are seeking to amend the provisions around ‘exit day’ and postpone the curtailment of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s jurisdiction.

Amendment:

Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU

L Goldsmith LAB, Lord Wallace of Tankerness LD, L Kerr of Kinlochard XB, V Hailsham CON

Clause 19, page 15, line 21, at end insert—

“( ) If the United Kingdom agrees transitional arrangements with the European Union, a Minister of the Crown may not appoint a day on which section 6 is to come in force unless this day follows the expiration of those transitional arrangements.

 

4. ‘Removing the Government’s exit day’:

  • During Commons Committee stage, the government passed amendments to define ‘exit day’ throughout the Bill as ‘11pm on 29 March 2019’. This addition undermines a transitional period and would also make it illegal for the UK to extend the Article 50 negotiations by even a single minute – even if the EU27 unanimously agreed to do so.
  • We are therefore, seeking amendments to reinstate the original provisions put forward by the government. These would allow Ministers to appoint different exit days for different purposes, including allowing a temporary extension of the European Court’s jurisdiction to facilitate a transitional period.

Amendment:

Removal of 29 March 2019 as exit day

Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, L Newby LD, L Hannay of Chiswick XB, D Wellington CON

Clause 14, page 10, line 40, leave out from “means” to the end of line 41 and insert “such day as a Minister of the Crown may by regulations appoint (and see subsection (2A));”

Clause 14, page 11, line 38, leave out subsections (2) to (5) and insert—

“(2A) In this Act—

(a) where a Minister of the Crown appoints a time as well as a day as exit day (see paragraph 19 of Schedule 7), references to before, after or on that day, or to beginning with that day, are accordingly to be read as references to before, after or at that time on that day or (as the case may be) to beginning with that time on that day, and

(b) where a Minister of the Crown does not appoint a time as well as a day as exit day, the reference to exit day in section 1 is to be read as a reference to the beginning of that day.”

Schedule 7, page 48, line 22, leave out “14(4)” and insert “14(2A)”

 

5. ‘Enhanced protection for EU-derived rights and protections’:

  • While Labour supports giving continuing legal effect to directly applicable EU law once the European Communities Act 1972 has been repealed, the government has not provided for enhanced protection for EU-derived rights for workers, consumers or the environment. As a result, key protections could be amended or revoked by statutory instrument, with Parliament having a limited role in scrutinising changes.
  • The Commons rejected Labour’s calls for such rights to be given an enhanced level of protection in UK law, although the government’s majority was reduced to just 12. We are seeking to pass similar amendments and give MPs a further opportunity to reflect a serious matter for many millions of people across the UK. We are also seeking to ensure the Charter of Fundamental Rights continues to have effect.

Amendments:

Enhanced protection for EU-derived rights and protections

Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, Bns Smith of Newnham LD, L Warner XB, L Kirkhope CON

After Clause 3, insert the following new Clause—

Future treatment of retained EU law

 (1) Following the day on which this Act is passed, no modification may be made to retained EU law except by primary legislation, or by subordinate legislation made under this Act insofar as this subordinate legislation meets the requirements in subsections (2) to (6).

(2) The Secretary of State must by regulations establish a schedule listing technical provisions of retained EU law that may be amended by subordinate legislation.

(3) Subordinate legislation to which subsection (2) applies must be subject to an enhanced scrutiny procedure, to be established by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(4) Regulations under subsections (2) and (3) may not be made unless a draft has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(5) The enhanced scrutiny procedure provided for by subsection (3) must include a period of consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders.

(6) Regulations under this section may be used only to modify provisions of retained EU law listed in any schedule made under subsection (2) to the extent that such modification will not limit the scope of or weaken—

(a) employment entitlements, rights and protection,

(b) equality entitlements, rights and protection,

(c) health and safety entitlements, rights and protection,

(d) consumer standards, or

(e) environmental standards and protection.”

 

Charter of Fundamental Rights

L Goldsmith LAB, Bns Ludford LD, L Kerslake XB, L Bowness CON

Clause 5, page 3, line 20, leave out subsections (4) and (5)

Clause 14, page 9, leave out lines 25 to 27

Clause 15, page 12, leave out line 28

Schedule 1, page 16, line 32, leave out “the Charter of Fundamental Rights,”

Schedule 1, page 17, line 1, leave out “Charter”

 

Guidance for courts and tribunals

L Pannick XB, L Goldsmith LAB, Lord Wallace of Tankerness LD, V Hailsham CON

Clause 6, page 3, line 34, leave out subsection (2) and insert—

(2A) A court or tribunal must, where it considers it relevant for the proper interpretation of retained EU law, have regard to judgments or decisions given by the European Court on or after exit day.

(2B) In determining the significance of any judgment or decision considered under subsection (2A), the court or tribunal must have regard to the terms of any agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU which it considers relevant.

(2C) A court or tribunal may determine that any judgment or decision taken into account under subsection (2A) has no significance in relation to its proceedings.”

 

Francovich

L Goldsmith LAB

Schedule 1, page 16, line 29, at end insert—

“, except in cases where the breach of Community law took place on or before exit day.

( ) For the purposes of paragraph 4(1), exit day must not be before the end of any transitional period agreed between the United Kingdom and the EU.”

 

6. ‘Limiting the scope of delegated (Henry VIII) powers’:

  • The Lords Constitution Committee’s report says that the many flaws in the Bill mean that it “risks fundamentally undermining legal certainty”, and “represents a challenge for the relationship between Parliament and the Executive.”
  • The Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee notes that the Bill “gives excessively wide law-making powers to Ministers, allowing them to make major changes beyond what is necessary to ensure UK law works properly when the UK leaves the EU.”
  • We are seeking amendments to the Bill to prevent Ministers from making regulations where they deem it “appropriate” to do so. Instead, they could only use their delegated powers in cases where it is “necessary” to achieve the aim of a functioning statute book on exit day. We also seek to restrict the use of tertiary legislation.
  • In addition, we are seeking to remove the ability of Ministers to establish public authorities, create new criminal offences, levy taxes or impose fees and charges, and even amend the Bill itself by statutory instrument – ie, by making use of so called ‘Henry VIII powers’.

Amendments:

Limitations to the use of delegated powers

L Foulkes of Cumnock LAB, L Goldsmith LAB, L Wallace of Saltaire LD, L Cormack CON

Clause 7, page 5, line 4, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Clause 8, page 6, line 35, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Clause 9, page 7, line 5, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Clause 17, page 14, line 15, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Clause 17, page 14, line 22, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 17, line 13, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 17, line 18, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 23, line 18, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 23, line 22, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 26, line 15, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

Schedule 2, page 26, line 19, leave out “appropriate” and insert “necessary”

 

Removal of ability to create criminal offences

L Judge XB, B Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, L McNally LD, V Hailsham CON

Clause 7, page 6, line 17, leave out “relevant”

Clause 8, page 6, line 42, leave out “relevant”

Clause 9, page 7, line 15, leave out “relevant”

Clause 14, page 11, leave out lines 8 to 12

 

Removal of the ability to establish public authorities by secondary legislation

L Newby LD, Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, L Turnbull XB, Bns Altmann CON

Clause 7, page 6, line 11, leave out paragraph (b)

Clause 7, page 6, line 17, at end insert—

“( ) provide for the establishment of public authorities in the United Kingdom,”

 

Removal of the ability for taxes to be levied by secondary legislation

Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, Bns Kramer LD, L Turnbull XB, L Higgins CON

Clause 7, page 6, line 15, at end insert “fees or charges,”

Clause 8, page 6, line 40, at end insert—

“( ) impose or increase taxation, fees or charges,”

Clause 9, page 7, line 13, at end insert “fees or charges,”

Oppose the question that Schedule 4 be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill

 

Removal of the Clause 9 Henry VIII power, including the ability to amend the Act itself

L Judge XB, Bns Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, Bns Smith of Newnham LD, V Hailsham CON

Clause 9, page 7, line 10, leave out subsection (2)

 

Preventing the creation of agencies and taxes through delegated/tertiary legislation

B Hayter of Kentish Town LAB

Schedule 4, page 37, line 16, at end insert—

Scrutiny of powers

5A        Regulations under this Part, including those made in tertiary legislation, may not be made unless a draft has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, both Houses of Parliament.”

Schedule 4, page 38, line 21, at end insert—

Scrutiny of powers

11        Regulations under this Part, including those made by subordinate instrument, may not be made unless a draft has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, both Houses of Parliament.”

Schedule 8, page 64, line 33, leave out from “time” to the end

 

Restricting the scope of delegated powers           

B Hayter of Kentish Town LAB

Clause 7, page 5, line 39, leave out subsection (3)

Clause 7, page 6, line 3, leave out subsections (6) to (7) and insert—

“(6A) Regulations under this section may provide for functions of EU entities or public authorities in member States (including making an instrument of a legislative character or providing funding) to be exercisable instead by a public authority (whether or not newly established or established for the purpose) in the United Kingdom.

(6B) Regulations to which subsection (6A) applies must ensure that the functions of such EU entities or public authorities are exercised with equivalent scope, purpose and effect by public authorities in the United Kingdom.

(6C) But regulations under this section may not—

(a) impose or increase taxation, fees or charges,

(b) make retrospective provision,

(c) create a criminal offence,

(d) establish a public authority,

(e) be made to implement the withdrawal agreement,

(f) amend, repeal or revoke the Human Rights Act 1998 or any subordinate legislation made under it,

(g) amend, repeal or revoke the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act,

(h) amend or repeal the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (unless the regulations are made by virtue of paragraph 16(b) of Schedule 7 to this Act or are amending or repealing paragraph 38 of Schedule 3 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 or any provision of that Act which modifies another enactment),

(i) contain any provision the effect of which is that, in comparison with the position immediately before exit day—

(i) any right conferred on a person by retained EU law is either removed or made less favourable,

(ii) any standard set by retained EU law is lowered, or

(iii) any remedy, procedure or method of enforcement, in relation to any rights or standards conferred by retained EU law, is made less effective, or

(j) amend, repeal or revoke the Equality Act 2010 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act.”

 

Constitution Committee – give EU direct legislation the status of primary legislation

B Hayter of Kentish Town LAB, L Goldsmith LAB, L Lennie LAB, L Tunnicliffe LAB

Clause 3, page 2, line 3, leave out “law” and insert “primary legislation”

 

7. ‘Ensuring respect for the Good Friday Agreement’:

  • When the Bill was in the Commons, there was much discussion about the impacts of Brexit on Northern Ireland and the need to have regard to the principles (including partnership, equality and mutual respect) which form the basis of the Good Friday/ Belfast Agreement. We are therefore, seeking to insert a new Clause to require Ministers to have regard to the principles contained in the Good Friday Agreement when legislating for Brexit.

Amendment:

Northern Ireland

L Patten of Barnes CON, Bns Smith of Basildon LAB, Bns O’Neill of Bengarve XB, L Alderdice LD

Before Clause 10, insert the following new Clause—

Northern Ireland: the Belfast principles

(1) In exercising of any of the powers under this Act to make any provision affecting Northern Ireland, a Minister of the Crown or any devolved authority must have regard to the requirement to preserve and abide by the principles and obligations contained within the Belfast Agreement and given effect by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (“the Belfast principles”).

(2) The Belfast principles include, but are not limited to —

(a) partnership, (b) equality, and (c) mutual respect

as the basis of relationships within Northern Ireland, between the North and South of Ireland, and between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain.

(3) In particular, in relation to this Act,—

(a) a Minister of the Crown must not give consent under paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to this Act before any provision is made by a Northern Ireland department except where the Secretary State has considered the requirement to preserve and abide by the Belfast principles and considers the provision is necessary only as a direct consequence of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and

(b) the powers under paragraph 16(b) of Schedule 7 to this Act to make supplementary, incidental, consequential, transitional, transitory or saving provision (including provision restating any retained EU law in a clearer or more accessible way) may not be exercised to do anything beyond the minimum changes strictly required only as a direct consequence of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

(4) Section 11(3) of this Act does not permit the Northern Ireland Assembly to do anything which is not in accordance with the Belfast principles.”

 

8. ‘Ensuring repatriated powers are passed to the devolved administrations’:

  • The government has so far failed to address the legitimate concerns of the devolved administrations. As it stands, the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Government have both indicated withholding legislative consent for the Bill. While such consent is not a legal necessity, as confirmed by the Gina Miller case on Article 50, Labour believes it is vital to respect the Sewel Convention.
  • The government failed to table amendments to Clause 11 of the Bill in the Commons but has indicated changes will be made in the Lords. We are therefore, seeking an amendments to address some of the core concerns and also prevent any undermining of devolution settlements.

Amendment: 

Devolution

L Griffiths of Burry Port LAB, L Wallace of Tankerness LD, L Kerr of Kinlochard XB, L Bowness CON

Clause 11, page 7, line 25, leave out subsections (1) to (3) and insert—

“(1) In section 29(2)(d) of the Scotland Act 1998 (no competence for Scottish Parliament to legislate incompatibly with EU law), omit “or with EU law”.

(2) In section 108A(2)(e) of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (no competence for National Assembly for Wales to legislate incompatibly with EU law), omit “or with EU law”.

(3) In section 6(2)(d) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (no competence for the Assembly to legislate incompatibly with EU law), omit “is incompatible with EU law”.

(4) The Secretary of State must lay before each House of Parliament proposals for replacing European Union legal frameworks with legal frameworks for the United Kingdom.

(5) United Kingdom wide legal frameworks may be proposed if and only if they are necessary to—

(a) enable the functioning of the United Kingdom’s internal market,

(b) ensure compliance with international obligations,

(c) ensure the United Kingdom can negotiate, enter into and implement new trade agreements and international treaties,

(d) enable the management of common resources,

(e) administer and provide access to justice in cases with a cross-border element, or

(f) safeguard the security of the United Kingdom.

(6) Ministers of the Crown may create UK-wide frameworks only if they have consulted with, and secured the agreement of, the affected devolved administrations.”

 

Additional amendments from the Labour Lords frontbench 

Below are additional tabled amendments led by other members of the Labour Lords frontbench, relating to their shadow ministerial roles and also forming part of our broad approach to seeking changes to the Bill.

 

Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Data protection safeguard

L Stevenson of Balmacara LAB, L Warner XB

Clause 7, page 6, line 18, at end insert—

“( ) amend, repeal or revoke the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act.”

Clause 8, page 6, line 43, at end insert—

“( ) amend, repeal or revoke the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act.”

Clause 9, page 7, line 15, at end insert—

“( ) amend, repeal or revoke the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act 2018 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act.”

Clause 14, page 10, line 41, at end insert—

““General Data Protection Regulation” means Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data;”

 

Department for Education

Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020

L Hunt of Kings Heath LAB

Page 1, line 3, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations bringing into force subsection (1) may not be made until the Secretary of State has set out a strategy for seeking to remain a member of, or a strategy seeking to maintain equivalent participatory relations with, Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 and Horizon 2020's successor programmes.”

 

Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

EU environmental principles

Bns Jones of Whitchurch LAB

After Clause 6, insert the following new Clause—

Maintenance of EU environmental principles

(1) Public authorities must have special regard to and apply the principles set out in this section.

(2) The principles in this section are—

(a) the precautionary principle as it relates to the environment,

(b) that preventive action should be taken to avert environmental damage,

(c) that environmental damage should, as a priority, be rectified at source,

(d) the polluter pays principle, and

(e) that environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of policies and activities, with a view to promoting sustainable development.

(3) The principles in subsection (2) may be called the “environmental principles”.

(4) In carrying out their duties and functions arising by virtue of this Act, public authorities must take account of the public interest in—

(a) promoting sustainable development in the UK and overseas,

(b) preserving, protecting and improving the environment,

(c) the prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources,

(d) promoting measures at the international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and combat climate change,

(e) guaranteeing participatory rights including

(i) access to information,

(ii) public participation in decision making, and

(iii) access to justice in relation to environmental matters, and

(f) acting in a way that takes account of available scientific and technical data.

(5) When making proposals concerning environmental protection, public authorities shall take as a base a high level of protection, taking account in particular of any new development based on scientific facts.

(6) Subsection (7) applies in any proceedings in which a court or tribunal determines whether a provision of primary or subordinate legislation is compatible with the environmental principles.

(7) If the court is satisfied that the provision is incompatible with the environmental principles, it may make a declaration of that incompatibility.”

 

Department of Health & Social Care

Reciprocal Health Arrangements

Bns Thornton LAB

Clause 1, Page 1, line 3, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations bringing into force subsection (1) may not be made until the Secretary of State has set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that any citizen of the United Kingdom or of an EU country, who requires health care in a different country of the EU or in the United Kingdom, will be treated as if they live in the country in which they are receiving their treatment, with the home country reimbursing the country where care was provided.”

Medicines and Clinical Device Regulations

Bns Thornton LAB

Clause 1, Page 1, line 3, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations bringing into force subsection (1) may not be made until the Secretary of State has set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that medicines and clinical devices licensed in either the United Kingdom or the EU are mutually recognised in both the United Kingdom and the EU.”

Euratom

L Hunt of Kings Heath LAB

Clause 1, Page 1, line 3, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations bringing into force subsection (1) may not be made until the Secretary of State has set out a strategy for seeking to remain a member of (or maintain equivalent participatory relations with) Euratom, in order to providecontinuity with current arrangements for ensuring an effective nuclear safeguards regime and a secure and consistent supply of radioisotopes for a range of applications in medicine.”

 

Department for Work & Pensions

Family law

Bns Sherlock LAB

After Clause 4, insert the following new Clause—

Maintenance of rights in the area of family law

(1) Within six months of this Act receiving Royal Assent, a Minister of the Crown must publish a report outlining the ways in which the rights afforded by EU family law continue to exist in domestic law.

(2) The report provided for under subsection (1) must include—

(a) the steps, if any, taken by Ministers of the Crown to negotiate the continuation of reciprocal arrangements between the UK and member States in the field of family law;

(b) the nature and duration of these reciprocal arrangements, if such arrangements have been successfully negotiated; and

(c) a declaration from the Minister of the Crown outlining whether, in their view, the rights of individuals in the area of family law have been weakened.

(3) The Minister of the Crown must lay the report before both Houses of Parliament.”

Clause 6, page 3, line 33, at end insert—

“(1A) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), a court or tribunal retains, for the period of eight years after exit day, the ability to refer a matter relating to family law to the European Court, in order to seek a preliminary ruling on that matter.

(1B) Having exercised the power in subsection (1A), a court or tribunal is bound by any preliminary ruling of the European Court.

(1C) In addition to the provisions of subsection (1A), a court or tribunal must, when considering a matter relating to family law, have regard to any relevant judgment or decision given by the European Court for a period of eight years after exit day.

(1D) A Minister of the Crown may by regulations made by statutory instrument extend the time period specified in subsections (1A) and (1C).

(1E) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (1D) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

Clause 8, page 6, line 37, after "Kingdom" insert ", including those that occur where the EU has entered into an agreement on behalf of member States and that agreement has not been formally ratified by the United Kingdom."

Clause 14, page 10, line 41, at end insert—

“”family law” means any area included in, or legal proceedings relating to, the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations, and any associated instruments incorporated into domestic law by this Act;”

 

Foreign Office

Examples of international obligations

L Collins of Highbury LAB

Clause 8, page 6, line 37, at end insert— “, subject to the requirement in subsection (1A).

“(1A) Within one month of this Act receiving Royal Assent, a Minister of the Crown must publish an assessment of each of the international treaties, agreements and obligations that will require amendment or renegotiation as a result of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

(1B) The report required under subsection (1) must include an assessment of how the powers under this section may need to be used.

(1C) A Minister of the Crown must lay the report under subsection (1A) before both Houses of Parliament.”

 

HM Treasury

OBR report

L Davies of Oldham LAB, L Tunnicliffe LAB

After Clause 9, insert the following new Clause—

Economic outlook taking account of the terms of the withdrawal agreement

(1) Following the completion of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU on the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the Secretary of State must commission an economic outlook from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

(2) The economic outlook provided for by subsection (1) must—

(a) take account of the terms of the withdrawal agreement, and

(b) be laid before both Houses of Parliament before Parliament considers legislation to enact the withdrawal agreement.”

 

NEW Quotes:

Shadow Brexit Minister, Baroness (Dianne) Hayter, who will lead for the party during the remaining stages of the Bill said:

“One clear take away from the Second Reading debate was that most members of the House of Lords consider this Bill not fit for purpose, and even the government has acknowledged the work to be done to get it into shape.

“What stands out looking at the amendments that have been tabled to this Bill is the range of experience of the prime movers – be they former Cabinet Ministers, permanent secretaries or judges. These are serious people, who Ministers and indeed the Prime Minister would do well to heed their advice.

“I look forward to the start of the Committee stage debates and hope the government is ready to work with us to make the changes needed to safeguard people’s rights with regard to consumer protections, employment and the environment. Plus ensure Parliament’s role in the big decisions facing our country.”

Shadow Leader of the Lords, Baroness (Angela) Smith of Basildon said:

“As will be clear from the amendments, Labour will work across the House with those from all parties and none in the Lords in to change this Bill. That is not unusual in itself for how we scrutinise legislation in the House but the stakes are certainly higher.

“The Government should take advantage of the expertise in the Lords and see this as an opportunity to get legislation that is fit for purpose. We want to ensure that when this Bill leaves the Lords looks like an enabling measure for rather than an obstacle to a transitional period. That is why we are seeking amendments relating to 'exit day', the use of Henry VIII powers, the role of the CJEU and the future status of its case law.

“We also want a transitional period based on current terms, including participation in the Single Market and Customs Union. This would prevent a cliff edge for consumers and businesses next March, and provide additional time to finalise the future UK-EU relationship.”

-Ends-

 

*Notes:

  1. Original version produced Friday 2nd February
  2. Updated version, with DfE & DH related amendments (section 3), Tuesday 6th February & change to named CON Peer on ‘derived rights’ cross-party amendment

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