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EU Withdrawal Bill – Royal Assent

Today (June 26 2018) the EU (Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen and became an Act of Parliament.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-eu-withdrawal-bill-receives-royal-assent

Statement from the Department for Exiting the European Union:

This historic Act will make sure the UK’s laws – entwined with over 40 years of EU law – continue to work from the day we leave, ensuring a smooth and orderly exit.

It does this by transferring EU law into UK law where appropriate and creating temporary powers to correct the laws that will no longer operate appropriately.

Now that the Act has become law, the Government can start to use the powers in the Act to prepare our statute book for our exit from the EU. Work on this will begin in the coming weeks as Departments start to lay the relevant secondary legislation in Parliament.

This marks the next essential step in ensuring that the UK is ready for life after we have left the European Union.

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis said:

This is a landmark moment in our preparations for leaving the European Union.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act is a vital piece of legislation that will ensure we have a functioning statute book for exit.

Since the Bill was introduced in Parliament last year, MPs and peers have spent more than 250 hours debating its contents and more than 1,400 amendments have been tabled.

We will now begin the work of preparing our statute book, using the provisions in this Act, to ensure we are ready for any scenario, giving people and businesses the certainty they need.

In total, it’s expected that around 800 pieces of secondary legislation will be needed. As part of the first tranche to be laid, the Government will use powers in the Bill to repeal the European Union Act 2011 as agreed by Parliament.

Alongside this programme of secondary legislation, Departments are delivering on a further package of Bills which will deliver the more significant policy changes needed as a result of our exit from the EU.

Other References

An extensive collection of documents related to the Withdrawal Bill is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-about-the-withdrawal-bill

Topics covered include:

  • Bill Overview
  • Converting and preserving law
  • The correcting power
  • Power to implement the withdrawal agreement
  • Devolution
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Workers’ rights
  • Environmental protections
  • Consumer protections
  • Treaty Rights
  • The role of the Queens Printer
  • Glossary
  • Impact Assessment
  • Regulatory Policy Committee opinion
  • Equality Analysis
  • European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) memorandum
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU: Right by Right Analysis
  • Equalities legislation and EU exit
  • Employment and EU exit
  • The Employment Rights (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and The Employment Rights
  • The Employment Rights (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018
  • EUWB Illustrative samples of statutory instruments
  • The Exotic Disease (Amendment) (England) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations and Non-Contractual Obligations (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Seal Products (Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Harbours, Highways, Merchant Shipping and Other Transport (Environmental Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market)(EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The European Communities (Designation Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Short note on the Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Communities (Designation Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • DExEU Note on the Draft Statutory Instrument: The European Union (Definition of Treaties Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulation 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Union (Definition of Treaties Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Covering note on the Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Note on the Draft Statutory Instrument: The European Parliamentary Elections Etc. (Repeal, Revocation, Amendment and Saving Provisions) (United Kingdom and Gibraltar) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Parliamentary Elections Etc. (Repeal, Revocation, Amendment and Saving Provisions) (United Kingdom and Gibraltar) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Covering note on the draft The Design Right (Semiconductor Topographies) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Design Right (Semiconductor Topographies) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

EU Preparations for Brexit

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The EU has a new section on their website containing information about what happens in various areas of EU law and policy resulting from Brexit and defines the reduction in co-operation between EU member States and the UK.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness_en

The information is provided to prepare citizens and stakeholders for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a formal ratified agreement and sets out the consequences in a range of policy areas.

Topics covered include:

  • Preparedness Notices

    Notices from European Commission departments on how Brexit would change law and policy in their areas of work.

  • Legislative Initiatives

    Proposed legislative measures to ensure the the future EU27 framework is operational after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

  • Other Activities

    Additional administrative and technical work to prepare for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Commons 20 June 2018

MPs continued debating the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 20 June 2018, following its return from the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

The outstanding point of contention was the Lords amendment to give parliament a “meaningful vote“.

The argument is about what should happen in the following cases:

MPs reject the final Brexit deal

or

Theresa May announces before 21 Jan 2019 that no deal has been reached

or

21 Jan 2019 passes without a deal being agreed

If one of these occurs, the Government has said a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the proposed next steps which MPs will vote on. The Lords’ amendment suggests that MPs should have to “approve” the minister’s statement.

David Davis issued a Government statement explaining that it would ultimately be up to the Speaker to decide whether MPs could amend the Government’s plans if no deal is reached by 21 January. Dominic Grieve then announced he would no longer be backing his amendment and that he would “accept the Government’s difficulty” and support the Government.

After a short debate the vote was

303 in favour of the amendment (ayes) with 319 against the amendment (noes) giving a majority of 16 against the amendment.

6 Conservative MPs voted “for” the amendment

Heidi Allen (South Cambridgeshire)
Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Dr Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe)
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

4 Labour MPs voted with the Government “against” the amendment

Frank Field (Birkenhead)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
John Mann (Bassetlaw)
Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

The Bill is now returned to the House of Lords, now one step closer to being enshrined as Law.

EU Negotiation Documents – Catchup

Catching up on various papers and slides published by the EU since May22 2018 related to the Brexit negotiations

Slide on customs controls

date: 22 May 2018

This slide highlights the checks and controls that need to be carried out on goods entering, transiting or leaving the customs territory of the European Union. These controls are carried out by customs authorities, in close cooperation with other competent authorities, at the external border of the European Union. This slide also shows what checks and controls are not required if there is a customs union between the EU and a third country.

N.B.: Note that in the case of a customs union, the levying of customs duties is removed and proof of free circulation is required instead of rules of origin. All other checks and controls are still necessary. This is indicated in red in the below slide.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/customs_controls_0.pdf


Slides on UK technical note on temporary customs arrangements.

date: 11 June 2018

These slides present an analysis of the ‘Technical Note: temporary customs arrangement’ published by the United Kingdom on 7 June 2018.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/slides_on_uk_technical_note_on_temporary_customs_arrangements.pdf


Infographic on the EU’s “backstop” proposal

date: 11 June 2018

This infographic presents a visual summary of the ‘Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’, which is part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19 March 2018.

The ‘Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’ operationalises in legal terms the agreement reached in the Joint Report of 8 December 2017 and the commitments undertaken by PM May in her letter to European Council President Donald Tusk of 19 March 2018

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/infographic_on_the_eu_backstop_proposal.pdf


Involvement in the EU’s space-related activities (slides)

date: 13 June 2018

These slides summarise the possibilities for involvement of third countries in EU space-related activities, including Galileo, and provide a comparison with UK positions.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/slides_on_the_eus_space-related_activities.pdf


Foreign, security and defence policy (slides)

date: 15 June 2018

Slides on foreign, security and defence policy

These slides provide a comparison with UK positions

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/slides_on_foreign_security_defence_policy.pdf


Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

date: 18 June 2018

Slides on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

These slides provide a comparison with UK positions.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/slides-police-and-judicial-cooperation-criminal-matters_en


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