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European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill update

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European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill has passed all stages in the House of Lords and is due to receive Royal Assent sometime today (9 September 2019)

Once a bill has completed all the parliamentary stages in both Houses, it is ready to receive royal assent. This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).

https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2019/september/european-union-withdrawal-no6-bill-proceeds-to-royal-assent/

Read more details about this bill and its fast-track through Parliament at

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/europeanunionwithdrawalno6/stages.html

Early Parliamentary General Election

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Following the Government defeat in the creation of the Bill to prevent the UK leaving the EU on 31 October 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposes a General Election to be held on Tuesday 15 October 2019.

After debating for 90 minutes the question was put to a vote.

The result of the vote showed 298 in favour and 56 against. (The majority of Labour members abstained.)

However, the motion to hold a General Election did not receive enough votes in favour under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

The Act specifies that early elections can be held only:

  • if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division
  • or

  • if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days
  • European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

    After taking over control of the business in the House of Commons from the Government, a Bill was presented by MPs to stop Brexit happening on the 31 October 2019.

    The Speaker of the House curtailed questions about the Spending Round 2019 presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in order for the Bill to be presented.

    The Bill, European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill was presented by Hilary Benn supported by Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Tom Brake, Stephen Gethins, Jonathon Edwards, Joan Ryan, Caroline Lucas, Chris Bryant, Stephen Doughty and Nick Boles.

    In brief, the Bill is looking to prevent the UK leaving on the 31 October 2019 unless

  • there is a deal agreed between the UK and the EU which has been approved by MPs,
  • or

  • MPs have agreed to leave without a deal.
  • If either of these conditions are not met, the Prime Mister will be forced to ask for an extension under Article 50(3) to 31 January 2020, by sending the following letter to the President of the European Council

    Court of Session rejects petition to prevent Prorogation

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    A judge from the Court of Session in Scotland has rejected the petition to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson closing Parliament for 5 Weeks from the week commencing 9 Sep 2019.

    The petition was presented by a number of MPs led by Joanna Cherry. It was a Judicial Review seeking a ruling that the Prime Minister has acted illegally by proroguing Parliament prior to the UK leaving the EU at the end of October.

    Lord Doherty rejected the petition stating:

    “It is not for the courts to decide further restraints on prorogation which go beyond those which parliament provides”

    The legal team representing the petitioners have launched an appeal to the ruling.

    Details of the judgement can be found at

    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=2d8b6da7-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

    and a copy is available at

    Full Judgement (pdf)

    Taking over the Business in the HoC

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    Following a vote in the House of Commons on 3 September 2019, MPs voted by 328 votes to 301 to allow a motion that takes over the business of the House of Commons from the Government, in order to present a Bill that prevents the UK leaving without a deal agreed between the UK and the EU.

    The Prime Minister stated that Conservative MPs who voted against the Government would have the Tory whip removed, meaning that they would be expelled from the Conservative party. However, they will continue to sit in Parliament as Independent MPs until the next election when they will also be barred from standing as Conservative MPs.

    The vote was a defeat for the Government with 21 Conservative MPs voting against the Government, these were:

    • Guto Bebb (*)
    • Richard Benyon
    • Steve Brine
    • Alistair Burt (*)
    • Greg Clark
    • Ken Clarke (*)
    • David Gauke
    • Justine Greening (*)
    • Dominic Grieve
    • Sam Gyimah
    • Philip Hammond
    • Stephen Hammond
    • Richard Harrington (*)
    • Margot James
    • Oliver Letwin (*)
    • Anne Milton
    • Caroline Nokes
    • Antoinette Sandbach
    • Nicholas Soames
    • Rory Stewart
    • Ed Vaizey

    [names marked (*) have indicated that they will not be standing at the next election].

    In addition, prior to the vote, the Conservative MP for Bracknell had resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Liberal Democrats, voting against the Government.

    This leaves the Conservative Party with a total of 289 MPs.

    The Bill – European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill – will be presented to Parliament on 4 September. Boris Johnson has confirmed he will seek a snap General Election if MPs vote to prevent a “no-deal”.

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