European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – House of Lords

This is a summary of the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 through the House of Lords.

The 1st Reading, by the House of Lords, was completed on 18 January 2018, followed by the 2nd Reading on 30-31 January 2018, before entering Committee stages starting on 21 February 2018 and concluding after a total of 11 sittings on 28 March 2018.

The Report Stage commenced on 18 April 2018 finishing on 8 May 2018 after a total of 6 sittings.

The 3rd Reading was held on 16 May 2018 before being returned to the House of Commons.

In case you’ve forgotten, the Bill aims to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and incorporate EU law into UK law on the day the UK leaves the EU. It also aims to create temporary powers to make secondary legislation once the UK has left and aims to incorporate any withdrawal agreement into UK law.

The fundamental purpose of this Bill is to prepare our statute book for exit day, it is not about the terms of our exit.

I guess one could argue if all the topics debated and voted on are actually within the scope of this Bill, and whether a lot of the argument has been yet another attempt to derail the Brexit process.

Following debate in the House of Lords, there were a total of 15 defeats for the Government. In total, The House of Lords made 192 amendments to the Bill during Report stage, 8 Government amendments were also made at Third Reading.

Full details of the amendments can be found in a published document at

There is also a useful House of Commons Briefing document on the amendments at

A Summary of the amendments on which the Government was defeated can be found at the Institute for Government web-site at

Government defeats at Report Stage:

  • amendment 1: customs union
  • amendment 11: rights in EU retained law
  • amendment 15: Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • amendment 18: legal challenges
  • amendment 19: legal challenges
  • amendment 31: ‘necessary’ ministerial power
  • amendment 49: ‘meaningful’ vote for Parliament
  • amendment 51: future negotiations
  • amendment 59: unaccompanied child refugees
  • amendment 88: Good Friday Agreement
  • amendment 93: EU agencies
  • amendment 95: exit date
  • amendment 110A: European Economic Area
  • amendment 70: statutory instruments

Government defeats at Third reading:

  • amendment 1: environmental standards

The Bill is now returned to the House of Commons, entering the “ping-pong” stage, where the Lords amendments will be debated by MPs on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 June 2018. A summary of the various stages can be found at