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EU Preparations for Brexit

by Politicker 0 Comments

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.

Preparedness Notices

Notices from the departments of the European Commission on the legal and practical implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union are available at:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/preparedness-notices_en

Unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date or the European Council, in accordance with Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union and in agreement with the United Kingdom, unanimously decides that the Treaties cease to apply at a later date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h CET (29 March 11:00 pm GMT)

The United Kingdom will then become a third country.

The notices, which aim at preparing citizens and stakeholders for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a formal ratified agreement, set out the consequences in a range of policy areas.

Notices have been prepared in the following areas:

In addition, EU decentralised agencies have published information in relation to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU,

Community Plant Variety Office,

European Chemicals Agency,

European Medicines Agency

European Supervisory Authorities have also issued opinions and guidance.

European Banking Authority,

Single Supervisory Mechanism

Legislative Initiatives

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union implies the need to make sure that the future EU27 legal framework is and remains fully operational after the withdrawal. The proposed measures are specific, limited and targeted at remedying the negative impact of a disorderly withdrawal or at enabling the necessary adaptation of the legislation.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/legislative-initiatives_en

Other Activities

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

Financial services: European Commission and HM Treasury ask the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to convene a technical working group on risk management in the period around 30 March 2019 in the area of financial services

https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/financial-services-european-commission-and-hm-treasury-ask-european-central-bank-and-bank-england-convene-technical-working-group-risk-management-period-around-30-march-2019-area-financial-services_en

EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Lords 18 June 2018

On the 18th June 2018, Lords debated the EU Withdrawal Bill following its return to the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

Folowing debate and votes, there are now 4 outstanding amendments to the Bill which will be returned to the Commons for consideration on 20 June 2018.

The only amendment which is likely to go to a vote will be on the “meaningful vote” amendment.

https://goo.gl/KHRpb9

The Lords voted 354-235 in favour of this amendment, Motion F3 aka Grieve II, by Viscount Hailsham tabled on behalf of Dominic Grieve.

This was an amendment which reflected the agreement Conservative backbenchers thought they had reached with the Government. It says that, if Parliament rejects the deal brought back from Brussels, then the Commons will vote on a motion to approve a statement made by a minister setting out what the Government plans to do next. If no deal is reached with the EU by 21 January 2019, then a minister must make a statement setting out how the Government plans to proceed and the Commons must approve this statement in a motion.

Editors Comment

Some thoughts …

There does appear to be an anti-Brext sentiment prevailing in the House of Lords as evidenced during the debate on this amendment

The Proposer of the amendment Viscount Hailsham said:

“I do not believe in Brexit, that is perfectly true. I think it is a national calamity.”

Current thinking is that the Government will strongly resist the amendment.

Dominic Grieve claims that he “does not wish to delay or frustrate Brexit”, and then visits the European Commission for a meeting with Alistair Campbell and other anti-brexit campaigners

Grieve recently said, on BBC One’s Sunday Politics program, when asked if voting against the government could eventually bring it down “We could collapse the government and I can assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders.”

It is unclear if the Government is defeated on this amendment, whether a vote of no confidence could take place. An alternative if this happened, could be for the PM to resign and/or call for a General Election.

In my opinion, I think it highly possible that there will be a General Election called before the UK leaves the EU. Is the recent announcement of increased funding for the NHS partly funded from the non-payment of membership fees to the EU club, an attempt to sweeten a posible General Election in the Autumn?

Have preparations started in case of a no-deal Brexit ? (If they haven’t already started 2 years ago !! ). The apparent intransigence of the EU negotiators indicates a lack of negotiating in “good faith” and they appear to dictate rather than negotiate terms for the Withdrawal from and Future relationship between the UK and EU there is a strong possibility that a deal will not be reached.

EU Withdrawal Bill – update 14 June 2018

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill returned to the House of Commons from the House of Lords on Tuesday 12 June as part of the process known as “ping-pong”. 15 amendments were added to the Bill by the Lords and were debated over the 12th and 13th June in the House of Commons.

The Government accepted one of the amendments, 8 were rejected, and MPs accepted Government changes to the remaining 6 amendments.

Notes on the amendments are available at:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/0111/18111.1-7.html

and are also summarized in more detail at:

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/eu-withdrawal-bill-amendments-and-debates

A major issue concerned an amendment that would allow MPs to decide the next course of action if Parliament were to reject the Government’s final Brexit deal with the EU or if no deal is reached. This would hand control of the negotiations to MP’s to set and negotiate a Brexit deal with the EU.

A number of “remainer” Tory “rebels”, led by Dominic Grieve, had threatened to vote against the Government (of which they are a part) unless significant concessions were made. Tory MP Philip Lee resigned from his role as a junior Justice Minister in order to vote against the Government. The PM held talks with more than 14 Tory rebels prior to the vote and appeared to have persuaded the rebels not to vote against the Government. She promised to address the rebels concerns in an amendment to be returned to the House of Lords. The Government won the vote by 324 votes to 298.

Following the votes, there was little time left to debate concerns raised by the SNP over Brexit and its affect on devolution. This sparked a walkout by all SNP MPs during Prime Ministers Questions after their leader Ian Blackford clashed with the Speaker John Bercow.

Labour were not without their own troubles with 75 MPs voting in favour of the amendment for the UK to join the European Economic Area after Brexit and 15 voting against. The labour party leadership had ordered its MPs to abstain. This also caused 5 MPs to quit their front bench posts in order to vote.

Th Bill was subsequently returned to the House of Lords for further debate due on Monday 18th June 2018.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – House of Lords

This is a summary of the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 through the House of Lords.

The 1st Reading, by the House of Lords, was completed on 18 January 2018, followed by the 2nd Reading on 30-31 January 2018, before entering Committee stages starting on 21 February 2018 and concluding after a total of 11 sittings on 28 March 2018.

The Report Stage commenced on 18 April 2018 finishing on 8 May 2018 after a total of 6 sittings.

The 3rd Reading was held on 16 May 2018 before being returned to the House of Commons.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2018/january/lords-debates-eu-withdrawal-bill/

In case you’ve forgotten, the Bill aims to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and incorporate EU law into UK law on the day the UK leaves the EU. It also aims to create temporary powers to make secondary legislation once the UK has left and aims to incorporate any withdrawal agreement into UK law.

The fundamental purpose of this Bill is to prepare our statute book for exit day, it is not about the terms of our exit.

I guess one could argue if all the topics debated and voted on are actually within the scope of this Bill, and whether a lot of the argument has been yet another attempt to derail the Brexit process.

Following debate in the House of Lords, there were a total of 15 defeats for the Government. In total, The House of Lords made 192 amendments to the Bill during Report stage, 8 Government amendments were also made at Third Reading.

Full details of the amendments can be found in a published document at

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0212/18212.pdf

There is also a useful House of Commons Briefing document on the amendments at

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8328

A Summary of the amendments on which the Government was defeated can be found at the Institute for Government web-site at

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/eu-withdrawal-bill-amendments-and-debates#amendments

Government defeats at Report Stage:

  • amendment 1: customs union
  • amendment 11: rights in EU retained law
  • amendment 15: Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • amendment 18: legal challenges
  • amendment 19: legal challenges
  • amendment 31: ‘necessary’ ministerial power
  • amendment 49: ‘meaningful’ vote for Parliament
  • amendment 51: future negotiations
  • amendment 59: unaccompanied child refugees
  • amendment 88: Good Friday Agreement
  • amendment 93: EU agencies
  • amendment 95: exit date
  • amendment 110A: European Economic Area
  • amendment 70: statutory instruments

Government defeats at Third reading:

  • amendment 1: environmental standards

The Bill is now returned to the House of Commons, entering the “ping-pong” stage, where the Lords amendments will be debated by MPs on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June 2018. A summary of the various stages can be found at

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/europeanunionwithdrawal/stages.html

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