web analytics

Category Archives

16 Articles

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill was published on 20 November 2017. The Bill is sometimes referred to as “the Customs Bill“. The Bill is one of a series intended to adjust UK legislation for Brexit. Together with the Trade Bill, this Bill is intended to allow the UK to continue its existing trade policy as far as possible immediately after Brexit.

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill

A briefing paper has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House Commons on Monday 16 July


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.


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:


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 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


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


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 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.


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.