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EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – DExEU

A number of documents were issued on 22 October 2019 by the Department for Exiting the EU including Fact Sheets and Impact Assessments related to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is required to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and implement the Agreements (EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss) in domestic law. This Bill ensures that the United Kingdom is able to fulfil its international obligations, and leave the European Union with a deal.

Documents include:

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Delegated Powers Memorandum (PDF, 3.56MB, 104 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Explanatory Notes


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill ECHR Memorandum (PDF, 138KB, 10 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Impact Assessment (PDF, 739KB, 69 pages)


Regulatory Policy Committee opinion on the Impact Assessment of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (PDF, 275KB, 15 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Overview (PDF, 970KB, 8 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Citizens’ rights (PDF, 891KB, 10 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Northern Ireland (PDF, 1.25MB, 8 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Implementation period (PDF, 1.33MB, 8 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Finance Authority (PDF, 1.19MB, 6 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – EEA EFTA Separation Agreement (PDF, 1.15MB, 10 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement (PDF, 948KB, 10 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (PDF, 1.15MB, 8 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Workers’ Rights (PDF, 1.12MB, 6 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Parliamentary Oversight of Withdrawal (PDF, 995KB, 8 pages)


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Fact Sheet – Other Separation Issues (PDF, 981KB, 6 pages)


Further information on the Bill can be found in the relevant documents listed above, available from:


EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20

Monday 21 October 2019

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, again prevented the Government from bringing forward a motion for MPs to debate and vote on whether to accept the recently agreed deal between the UK and the EU, using a convention dating back to 1604.

First, I have to judge whether the motion tabled under section 13(1)(b) of the 2018 Act for debate today is the same in substance as that which was decided on Saturday. Page 397 of ‘Erskine May’ is clear that such a motion ‘may not be brought forward again during that same session.’

With the conclusion that:

My ruling is therefore that the motion will not be debated today, as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”

It is interesting to note that the motion debated on Saturday was changed completely, following amendment to read:

“That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.”

Thus MPs again avoid having to actually reach a decision.

The “implementing legislation” referred to is the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20 and was introduced to the House of Commons and given its First Reading on Monday 21 October 2019. This stage is formal and takes place without any debate.


The Bill as introduced is available here:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20

EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20 (copy pdf)


1. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill implements the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) on 17 October 2019. The Bill is required to implement the Withdrawal Agreement for it to have domestic legal effect and to enable the UK Government to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement. This Bill is also the vehicle for the Government to give effect to the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement between the UK and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement between the UK and Switzerland.

2. The Bill provides for the direct application of the Withdrawal Agreement provisions in domestic law where relevant, whilst also recognising the sovereignty of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Bill amends the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to ensure it reflects the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Bill also creates powers to make secondary legislation, where appropriate, to enable the Withdrawal Agreement to be implemented domestically. It includes amendments to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in relation to rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity protections contained in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998.
All these measures provide for the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the UK and the EU pertaining to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

3. This Bill also includes provision relating to facilitating access for Northern Ireland goods to the market in Great Britain, as well as further provision to ensure no alteration to the arrangements for North South cooperation can occur as a result of this Bill.

Explanatory notes on the Bill can be found at:

Bill 007 EN 2019-20

and a copy is available at

EU WA Bill 2019-20 Explanatory Notes (pdf)

EU Withdrawal Bill – Royal Assent

Today (June 26 2018) the EU (Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen and became an Act of Parliament.


Statement from the Department for Exiting the European Union:

This historic Act will make sure the UK’s laws – entwined with over 40 years of EU law – continue to work from the day we leave, ensuring a smooth and orderly exit.

It does this by transferring EU law into UK law where appropriate and creating temporary powers to correct the laws that will no longer operate appropriately.

Now that the Act has become law, the Government can start to use the powers in the Act to prepare our statute book for our exit from the EU. Work on this will begin in the coming weeks as Departments start to lay the relevant secondary legislation in Parliament.

This marks the next essential step in ensuring that the UK is ready for life after we have left the European Union.

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis said:

This is a landmark moment in our preparations for leaving the European Union.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act is a vital piece of legislation that will ensure we have a functioning statute book for exit.

Since the Bill was introduced in Parliament last year, MPs and peers have spent more than 250 hours debating its contents and more than 1,400 amendments have been tabled.

We will now begin the work of preparing our statute book, using the provisions in this Act, to ensure we are ready for any scenario, giving people and businesses the certainty they need.

In total, it’s expected that around 800 pieces of secondary legislation will be needed. As part of the first tranche to be laid, the Government will use powers in the Bill to repeal the European Union Act 2011 as agreed by Parliament.

Alongside this programme of secondary legislation, Departments are delivering on a further package of Bills which will deliver the more significant policy changes needed as a result of our exit from the EU.

Other References

An extensive collection of documents related to the Withdrawal Bill is available at:


Topics covered include:

  • Bill Overview
  • Converting and preserving law
  • The correcting power
  • Power to implement the withdrawal agreement
  • Devolution
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Workers’ rights
  • Environmental protections
  • Consumer protections
  • Treaty Rights
  • The role of the Queens Printer
  • Glossary
  • Impact Assessment
  • Regulatory Policy Committee opinion
  • Equality Analysis
  • European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) memorandum
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU: Right by Right Analysis
  • Equalities legislation and EU exit
  • Employment and EU exit
  • The Employment Rights (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 and The Employment Rights
  • The Employment Rights (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018
  • EUWB Illustrative samples of statutory instruments
  • The Exotic Disease (Amendment) (England) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations and Non-Contractual Obligations (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Seal Products (Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Harbours, Highways, Merchant Shipping and Other Transport (Environmental Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market)(EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The European Communities (Designation Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Short note on the Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Communities (Designation Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • DExEU Note on the Draft Statutory Instrument: The European Union (Definition of Treaties Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulation 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Union (Definition of Treaties Orders) (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Covering note on the Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – Financial Regulators’ Powers (Technical Standards) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Note on the Draft Statutory Instrument: The European Parliamentary Elections Etc. (Repeal, Revocation, Amendment and Saving Provisions) (United Kingdom and Gibraltar) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Draft Statutory Instrument – The European Parliamentary Elections Etc. (Repeal, Revocation, Amendment and Saving Provisions) (United Kingdom and Gibraltar) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • Covering note on the draft The Design Right (Semiconductor Topographies) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
  • The Design Right (Semiconductor Topographies) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Commons 20 June 2018

MPs continued debating the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 20 June 2018, following its return from the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

The outstanding point of contention was the Lords amendment to give parliament a “meaningful vote“.

The argument is about what should happen in the following cases:

MPs reject the final Brexit deal


Theresa May announces before 21 Jan 2019 that no deal has been reached


21 Jan 2019 passes without a deal being agreed

If one of these occurs, the Government has said a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the proposed next steps which MPs will vote on. The Lords’ amendment suggests that MPs should have to “approve” the minister’s statement.

David Davis issued a Government statement explaining that it would ultimately be up to the Speaker to decide whether MPs could amend the Government’s plans if no deal is reached by 21 January. Dominic Grieve then announced he would no longer be backing his amendment and that he would “accept the Government’s difficulty” and support the Government.

After a short debate the vote was

303 in favour of the amendment (ayes) with 319 against the amendment (noes) giving a majority of 16 against the amendment.

6 Conservative MPs voted “for” the amendment

Heidi Allen (South Cambridgeshire)
Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Dr Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe)
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

4 Labour MPs voted with the Government “against” the amendment

Frank Field (Birkenhead)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
John Mann (Bassetlaw)
Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

The Bill is now returned to the House of Lords, now one step closer to being enshrined as Law.