European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Committee Stage

My previous report European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Committee Stage 1-3 covered the first three debates in the House of Commons during the Committee Stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. The next 5 debates were largely overshadowed with the “media excitement” generated by the possibility of the UK being allowed by the EU to discuss a future possible trading relationship between the UK and countries in the EU.

The debates were held

  • 4th sitting – 4th Dec 2017
  • 5th sitting – 6th Dec 2017
  • 6th sitting – 12th Dec 2017
  • 7th sitting – 13th Dec 2017
  • 8th sitting – 20th Dec 2017 (final)

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was considered and amended in a Committee of the whole House which was completed on Wednesday 20 December 2017.

Details for all the debates can be found on Parliament’s web-site at:

More than 500 amendments were considered for debate and a number of votes were taken during the proceedings.

New Clauses and Amendments considered in Committee of the whole House (excel spreadsheet).

An amendment by the Government to add the actual date and time of withdrawal from the EU to the Bill was accepted after a vote. This is defined as 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m.

The Government were only defeated following a vote to accept a proposed amendment by Dominic Grieve. Clause 9 allows the Government to use statutory instruments to implement the withdrawal agreement. This amendment requires Parliament to approve the final terms of the withdrawal agreement before the Government can implement the withdrawal agreement.

A Minister of the Crown may by regulations make such provision as the Minister considers appropriate for the purposes of implementing the withdrawal agreement if the Minister considers that such provision should be in force on or before exit day, subject to the prior enactment of a statute by Parliament approving the final terms of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Details of all the Committee Stages is summarised in an interesting article at the Institute for Government

EU Withdrawal Bill: amendments and debates

All the changes made to the original Bill are shown in the following document:

Version of the bill showing changes made in committee (pdf)

What happens next?

MP’s will next consider the Bill at Third Reading and Report Stage, known collectively as remaining stages. This will take place on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 January 2018.