European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill has started it’s journey through Parliament. The First Reading was held on Thursday 19 December following the State Opening of Parliament after the Queens Speech.

Details of the Bill and its progress can be found on Parliament’s website at

and a copy of the Bill is available at

Bill 001 2019-20 (as introduced) (pdf)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Dec 2019 (pdf)

Explanatory notes can be found at

or in the attached document

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Dec 2019 Explanatory Notes (pdf)

In summary, the Bill is to implement, and make other provision in connection with, the agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union which sets out the arrangements for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Second Reading of the Bill was held on 20 December 2019. None of the proposed amendments were selected for debate.

The debate started at 9:40 am and continued until 2:14 pm when a vote was held.

The Second Reading of the Bill was passed by 358 votes in favour with 234 votes against.

In a breakdown of the figures (provided in Hansard)


Conservative: 353

Labour: 6


Alliance: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 7
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
Labour: 162
Liberal Democrat: 11
Plaid Cymru: 4
Scottish National Party: 45
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2

In a second vote ( on a motion which defines the future program for the passage of the Bill through Parliament) the vote was 353 votes in favour and 243 against.

This sets out the timetable for the Bill to proceed to the Committee Stage and to have a total of 16 hours allowed for debate over 2 days before proceeding to the Third Reading. The next day for debate is scheduled for 7 January 2020 following the MPs Christmas break.

The Bill has now been referred to a Committee of the Whole House starting on 7 January 2020. Proceedings will continue on the Bill on 8 January 2020 and will conclude with remaining stages on Thursday 9 January 2020.