Legislation UK-EU Trade Agreement

European Union (Future Relationship) Bill

This Bill is being fast-tracked through Parliament and is due to receive Royal Assent, if approved by MPs and the House of Lords, on 30 December 2020.

(updates: 31 December 2020)

The European Union (Future Relationship) Bill implements the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation and Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information (‘the Agreements’), as agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).

It also enables the implementation of arrangements and agreements that are either foreseen in the Agreements, or which are agreed by the UK and EU to be ‘supplementary’ to the TCA where these do not engage Section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010; these are, together with the Agreements, the future relationship agreements. The Bill is required to implement the Agreements for them to have domestic legal effect and to enable the UK Government to ratify the Agreements.

The Bill provides for the application of the Agreements in domestic law where relevant. The Bill also creates powers to make secondary legislation, where appropriate, to enable the Agreements to be implemented domestically or for domestic law to be interpreted in light of the Agreement. These measures provide for the implementation of the Agreements agreed between the UK and the EU.

The Bill also makes a small number of additional provisions relating to the UK’s relationship with the EU.

The Second Reading of the Bill went to a division with the result: 523 in Favour (Ayes) and 73 Against (Noes)

The DUP (8), Green Party (1), Liberal Democrats (11), Scottish National Party (44) and Plaid Cymru (3) voted against the 2nd reading

The Committee stage was completed without debate and proceeded to a division on the Third Reading which passed with 521 in Favour (Ayes) and 73 Against (Noes)

Here’s the different stages:

The Bill was completed in the House of Commons by 2:55 pm and passed for consideration by the House of Lords.

The Bill passed all stages in The House of Lords by 11:34 pm without amendment and by 12:30 am (Thursday) was given Royal Assent thus completing the process.


European Union (Future Relationship) Bill (as Introduced)

Explanatory Notes

House of Lords Debate (Hansard)

House of Lords Debate (Hansard)

Legal Legislation Politics

Ministers’ obligation to comply with the law

Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion in Parliament, on the 9 September, in an attempt to get the Prime Minister to state that he would comply with the law as just passed in the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill.

“That this House has considered the welcome completion of all parliamentary stages of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill and has considered the matter of the importance of the rule of law and Ministers’ obligation to comply with the law.”

The motion was put agreed without a vote.

Legislation Politics

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

After taking over control of the business in the House of Commons from the Government, a Bill was presented by MPs to stop Brexit happening on the 31 October 2019.

The Speaker of the House curtailed questions about the Spending Round 2019 presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order for the Bill to be presented.

The Bill, European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill was presented by Hilary Benn supported by Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Tom Brake, Stephen Gethins, Jonathon Edwards, Joan Ryan, Caroline Lucas, Chris Bryant, Stephen Doughty and Nick Boles.

In brief, the Bill is looking to prevent the UK leaving on the 31 October 2019 unless

  • there is a deal agreed between the UK and the EU which has been approved by MPs,
  • or

  • MPs have agreed to leave without a deal.
  • If either of these conditions are not met, the Prime Mister will be forced to ask for an extension under Article 50(3) to 31 January 2020, by sending the following letter to the President of the European Council

    Brexit Government Leaving EU Legislation

    PM’s speech on new Brexit deal: 21 May 2019

    Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a speech about the new Brexit deal on 21 May 2019.


    I became Prime Minister almost three years ago – immediately after the British people voted to leave the European Union. My aim was – and is – to deliver Brexit and help our country move beyond the division of the referendum and into a better future. A country that works for everyone. Where everyone has the chance to get on in life and to go as far as their own talent and hard work can take them. That is a goal that I believe can still unite our country.

    I knew that delivering Brexit was not going to be simple or straightforward. The result in 2016 was decisive, but it was close. The challenge of taking Brexit from the simplicity of the choice on the ballot paper to the complexity of resetting the country’s relationship with 27 of its nearest neighbours was always going to be huge.

    While it has proved even harder than I anticipated, I continue to believe that the best way to make a success of Brexit is to negotiate a good exit deal with the EU as the basis of a new deep and special partnership for the future. That was my pitch to be leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. That is what I set out in my Lancaster House speech and that was what my Party’s election manifesto said in 2017. That is in essence what the Labour Party’s election manifesto stated too. And over 80% of the electorate backed parties which stood to deliver Brexit by leaving with a deal.

    Brexit Leaving EU Legislation

    European Union (Withdrawal) Act – Passed

    This Bill started its passage through Parliament on 2 April 2019 and looks to remove a bargaining chip from the UK in it’s discussions with the EU to prevent No Deal. The Bill completed its passage through Parliament (House of Commons and House of Lords) on 08 April 2019.

    In trying to understand the consequences of this legislation it is useful to explore a Research Briefing prepared for the House of Commons:

    By the automatic operation of EU law, the UK leaves the EU on 12 April 2019 regardless of whether a deal has been ratified. The purpose of the Bill is to reduce the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, or at least to delay that outcome beyond 12 April 2019 if that is what MPs want and the European Council is prepared to agree to it.

    An important point here is that any extension needs to be agreed by the EU Council! They can reject a selected extension and/or propose their own date.

    The day after the day on which this Bill gets Royal Assent, the Prime Minister would have to table a motion. This motion must seek Commons approval for a proposal that the UK asks the European Council for an extension to Article 50. The motion must set out the Prime Minister’s preferred extension date.

    Following Royal Assent of the Bill on 08 April 2019 (when it became Law) the following Motion has been tabled for debate on 9 April 2019

    The Prime Minister

    That this House agrees for the purposes of section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the Prime Minister seeking an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union to a period ending on 30 June 2019.

    As it happens the PM has already written to Donald Tusk (on 5 April 2019) requesting an extension to 30 June 2019 with an option to terminate early. Has the fast tracking of this Bill through Parliament been a complete waste of time ?

    If the EU offers a different extension to the one proposed, the PM the must seek approval from the House of Commons before the revised date can be agreed with the EU.

    The Act also provides a further role for the Commons in the event that the European Council does not agree to the Prime Minister’s request but proposes an alternative date. In those circumstances, the Prime Minister would have to seek further Commons approval before agreeing to that revised date and thereby giving effect to it in EU law.

    The full report is available in the attached document issued by the House of Commons library

    European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill 2017-19