EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Royal Assent

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill was passed to the House of Lords following its journey through the House of Commons.

The first Reading, in the House of Lords, was held on 9 January 2020, with the 2nd Reading on 13 January 2020. The Committee Stage was held on the 14-16 January 2020 during which numerous amendments were considered. The Report Stage was held over 20 and 21 January 2020 and the Bill was returned to the House of Commons with a number of suggested amendments.

The Bill entered its “Ping-Pong” stage. This is when the bill is sent back and forth between the House of Commons and the House of Lords as they try to resolve disagreements about the final text of the Bill.

The Government had previously indicated that they would reject any amendments to the Bill and this proved to be the case. Because the Government has a large majority, votes rejected the suggested 5 amendments and the Bill was returned to the House of Lords.

The Lords withdrew their amendments and the Bill proceeded to Royal Assent.

All the different stages of the Bill can be found at

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Stages

All Documents and details of the debates held can be found at

Bill documents — European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20

Royal Assent to the Bill, which enshrines in law that the UK will leave the EU on Friday 31 January 2020, was granted with little fanfare and announced, on the 23 January 2020 in the House of Commons by the Deputy Speaker

I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that Her Majesty has signified her assent to the following Act:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

After the turmoil of almost 4 years since the EU Referendum was held, 2 General Elections and 3 different Prime Ministers the announcement was an anti-climax.

The UK will leave the EU at 11:00pm GMT on 31 January 2020 and enter a “transition period”, where effectively nothing changes, until 31 December 2020 (unless the period is extended). The period is supposed to minimise any disruption caused by the UK leaving the EU and the time will be used to determine the future relationship (including Trade) between the UK and the EU. It is hoped to agree a future Trade relationship during this time.