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Dominic Raab Statement to MPs on 24 July 2018

Dominic Raab gave a statement to Parliament on the publication of the White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

With permission Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the White Paper which has been published today, setting out the Government’s plans for legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement and the implementation period.

On Friday the 29th of March 2019, the UK will leave the European Union, giving effect to the historic decision taken by the British people in the 2016 referendum.

This Government is committed to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit. That’s why we’ve already passed the EU (Withdrawal) Act through Parliament, so we are ensuring our statute book functions after exit, whatever the outcome of the negotiations. I am grateful to the House, and the other place, for the many hours of scrutiny devoted to that vital piece of legislation.

We are now embarking on the next step in the process of delivering that smooth Brexit for the people and businesses of this country. Mr Speaker, since June last year, the UK has been negotiating with the EU to decide on the terms of our withdrawal.

We have made substantial progress: protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, deciding on the terms of the financial settlement, agreeing a strictly time-limited implementation period. Most of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to the EU side, around 80%, has now been agreed with our EU partners, and we have isolated outstanding issues for further focused negotiation. I will be meeting Michel Barnier again on Thursday, to take forward these negotiations at this critical time.

We have already agreed a financial settlement, estimated at between £35-39 billion, well below the figures being bandied around by some when we started this negotiation.

The implementation period is finite, it allows for the negotiation and conclusion of free trade deals.

Many of these arrangements will require new domestic legislation to deliver them into UK law.

And that is why, last November, we announced our intention to bring forward a new piece of primary legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement in UK law. So today, we are publishing a White Paper setting out our proposals for this important legislation, which will be introduced once the negotiations have concluded and Parliament has approved the final deal.

Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement

The White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union sets out how the Government will implement the final Withdrawal Agreement we reach with the EU in UK law.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/legislating-for-the-withdrawal-agreement-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union

The White Paper confirms that the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will:

  • be the primary means by which the rights of EU citizens will be protected in UK law
  • legislate for the time-limited implementation period
  • create a financial authority to manage the specific payments to be made under the financial settlement, with appropriate Parliamentary oversight

Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (PDF)

Mutiny in the Ranks

Following the Olly Robbins Theresa May plan agreed at Chequers, there have been rumours of an attempt to remove Theresa May as PM

It remains unclear whether the number of Conservative MPs (48) required to force a no-confidence vote in May will be found and even then whether the vote would be successful when more than half of the party’s MPs (316) would be needed.

Arguments within the Tory party spilled over into amendments and votes on the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill on 16 July 2018 and the Trade Bill on 17 July 2018. However, the Government succeeded in getting both Bills through their 3rd Reading Stage.

Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill

Debate on the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill continued on 16 July

Bill stages — Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill 2017-19

Brexit supporting Conservative MPs submitted four amendments to the Government’s Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill. These amendments were all accepted by the Government which angered MPs from the Remainer rebels who voted against the Government.

One amendment called for the UK to refuse to collect duties for the EU unless member states do likewise (New Clause 36)

This went to a vote with 305 votes for and 302 against – with 14 Tory rebels voting against the Government.

Another amendment required the UK to have an independent regime for VAT.

This also went to a vote with 303 votes for and 300 against – with 11 Tory rebels voting against the Government.

The other amendments accepted by the Government were to agree to a commitment to never having a border in the Irish sea and to require the Government to draw up primary legislation if the UK wants to remain in the EU customs union.

The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) finally passed its 3rd Reading in the House of Commons by 318 in favour to 285 against on the 16 July 2018

3rd reading: House of Commons 16 July, 2018

TRADE BILL

Debate on the Trade Bill continued on 17 July and Tory rebels supported an amendment in favour of creating a customs union with the EU, which was subsequently defeated.

Bill stages — Trade Bill 2017-19

New Clause 17

This new clause would ensure that it is a negotiating objective for the UK Government to secure an international agreement through which the UK may continue to participate in the European medicines regulatory network partnership between the EU, EEA and the European Medicines Agency, ensuring that patients continue to have access to high-quality, effective and safe pharmaceutical and medical products, fully aligned with the member states of the EU and EEA.

The Government lost the vote on this amendment, tabled by the Tory MP Philip Lee.

The vote was

305 votes in favour to 301 against.

New clause 18

This new clause would make it a negotiating objective of the UK to establish a free trade area for goods between the UK and the EU and if that cannot be agreed then it should be the objective of the UK to secure an agreement to enable the UK’s participation in a customs union with the EU.

The vote was

301 in favour with 307 votes against

The Trade Bill passed its 3rd Reading in the House of Commons by 317 in favour to 286 against on the 17 July 2018

3rd reading: House of Commons 17 July, 2018

Rebels

3 Labour Pro-Brexit MPs rebelled against their party by voting with the Government were

Frank Field
Kate Hoey
Graham Stringer

The Pro-EU Conservative rebel MPs were:

Heidi Allen
Guto Bebb
Richard Benyon
Jonathan Djanogly
Dominic Grieve
Stephen Hammond
Philip Lee
Nicky Morgan
Robert Neill
Mark Pawsey
Antoinette Sandbach
Anna Soubry
Sarah Wollaston

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

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8126

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
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