Categories
EU (Withdrawal) Act Legislation

European Union (Withdrawal) (No.5) Bill

This is a Bill being fast-tracked in the House of Commons, with all its substantive stages taken in a single sitting on one day. It is expected to also be fast-tracked in the House of Lords.

Bill as introduced

The Bill was debated on 3 April 2019 through its Second Reading (Hansard: http://bit.ly/2IcSO1h )

and Committee Stage (Hansard: http://bit.ly/2Un8e9R )

Debate on the Second Reading of the Bill started at 5:54 pm and was put to a vote at 7:00 pm after 1 hour 6 minutes of debate

The voting results were

Ayes: 315 Noes: 310

and the Bill passed (by a majority of 5), its second reading, after 1 hour 6 minutes of debate.

14 “Remain” Tory rebels voted in favour of passing the second reading.

Bebb, Guto
Brine, Steve
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Greening, rh Justine
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic
Gyimah, Mr Sam
Harrington, Richard
Lee, Dr Phillip
Letwin, rh Sir Oliver
Morgan, rh Nicky
Sandbach, Antoinette
Spelman, rh Dame Caroline
Vaizey, rh Mr Edward

The Committee Stage of the Bill began immediately following the result of the vote on the Second Reading.

The debate started at around 7:20 pm

There appeared to be some confusion over the proposed Amendments raised at this Stage. However, here is a complete list of the amendments:

BillNo5Amendments

Selected amendments:

They are amendment 13, amendment 20, amendment 21, Government amendment 22, amendment 1, clause 1 stand part, amendment 14, amendment 6, clause 2 stand part, new clause 4, new clause 5, new clause 7 and Government new clause 13.

Votes on amendments to the Bill started at 9:54 pm after 2 hours 34 minutes of debate.

To cut a long story short, it is difficult for me to determine exactly what was being voted on, so skipping to the end after more than an hour voting on amendments to the Bill …

Voting took place at 11:09 pm with the result

Ayes: 313 Noes: 312

14 “Remain” Tory rebels voted in favour of passing the Third reading.

Bebb, Guto
Brine, Steve
Burt, rh Alistair
Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Greening, rh Justine
Grieve, rh Mr Dominic
Gyimah, Mr Sam
Harrington, Richard
Lee, Dr Phillip
Letwin, rh Sir Oliver
Sandbach, Antoinette
Spelman, rh Dame Caroline
Vaizey, rh Mr Edward

The Bill, as amended, passed the Third Reading by a majority of 1.

The Bill has been sent to the House of Lords.

Here is a copy of the Bill as passed to the House of Lords

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/0172/18172.pdf

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill (copy pdf)

Details of all stages of the Bill can be found at

https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/europeanunionwithdrawalno5.html

The Bill was considered by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution and their report is available at

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldconst/339/33903.htm

The document presents the following conclusions for consideration by members of the House of Lords during their deliberations.

6.The House may wish to consider the implications of the Bill in the following respects:

A motion passed under the terms of the Bill would place a duty on the Prime Minister to “seek an extension” to the Article 50 period, while leaving discretion as to how it should be sought. Such discretion is inevitable as there is a limit to the extent to which it is feasible for legislation to provide direction in matters of this nature.

The Bill requires the Prime Minister to move a motion on the day after it receives Royal Assent. It does not, however, specify the time during which the Prime Minister would be required to act on the motion, should it be passed by the House of Commons.

In the event that a counterproposal is made by the European Council, the Bill does not require the Prime Minister to move a motion containing the date of that counterproposal. If the Prime Minister did move a motion containing that date, it would be open to the House of Commons to amend the motion so that it specified a different date. The provisions of the Bill could be applied repeatedly in the event that departure dates agreed by the House of Commons in subsequent motions did not align with the date or dates offered by the European Council.

The Bill does not provide for how any counterproposal from the European Council should be treated in the event that conditions are attached to it.

If the European Council refuses to offer an extension, or there is otherwise a failure to reach agreement on an extension, the Bill has no further effect and the UK would leave the European Union on 12 April by default.

As the result of a Government amendment in the House of Commons, the process by which a statutory instrument to alter ‘exit day’ in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is changed from the affirmative to the negative procedure. The justification for this change, accepted by the Bill’s sponsor and the Official Opposition, was that it might be necessary to legislate as a matter of urgency to change the date of exit and that the requirement to get the approval of both Houses to an affirmative instrument could cause undesirable delay, risking a situation in which exit day in domestic law was not aligned with the exit day agreed under EU law.

A House of Lords Library Briefing covers the House of Commons stages of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill, prepared for Members of the House of Lords in the event that the bill is considered in the House of Lords on 4 April 2019.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/LLN-2019-0042

Categories
Brexit Legislation

EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Lords 18 June 2018

On the 18th June 2018, Lords debated the EU Withdrawal Bill following its return to the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

Folowing debate and votes, there are now 4 outstanding amendments to the Bill which will be returned to the Commons for consideration on 20 June 2018.

The only amendment which is likely to go to a vote will be on the “meaningful vote” amendment.

https://goo.gl/KHRpb9

The Lords voted 354-235 in favour of this amendment, Motion F3 aka Grieve II, by Viscount Hailsham tabled on behalf of Dominic Grieve.

This was an amendment which reflected the agreement Conservative backbenchers thought they had reached with the Government. It says that, if Parliament rejects the deal brought back from Brussels, then the Commons will vote on a motion to approve a statement made by a minister setting out what the Government plans to do next. If no deal is reached with the EU by 21 January 2019, then a minister must make a statement setting out how the Government plans to proceed and the Commons must approve this statement in a motion.

Editors Comment

Some thoughts …

There does appear to be an anti-Brext sentiment prevailing in the House of Lords as evidenced during the debate on this amendment

The Proposer of the amendment Viscount Hailsham said:

“I do not believe in Brexit, that is perfectly true. I think it is a national calamity.”

Current thinking is that the Government will strongly resist the amendment.

Dominic Grieve claims that he “does not wish to delay or frustrate Brexit”, and then visits the European Commission for a meeting with Alistair Campbell and other anti-brexit campaigners

Grieve recently said, on BBC One’s Sunday Politics program, when asked if voting against the government could eventually bring it down “We could collapse the government and I can assure you I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders.”

It is unclear if the Government is defeated on this amendment, whether a vote of no confidence could take place. An alternative if this happened, could be for the PM to resign and/or call for a General Election.

In my opinion, I think it highly possible that there will be a General Election called before the UK leaves the EU. Is the recent announcement of increased funding for the NHS partly funded from the non-payment of membership fees to the EU club, an attempt to sweeten a posible General Election in the Autumn?

Have preparations started in case of a no-deal Brexit ? (If they haven’t already started 2 years ago !! ). The apparent intransigence of the EU negotiators indicates a lack of negotiating in “good faith” and they appear to dictate rather than negotiate terms for the Withdrawal from and Future relationship between the UK and EU there is a strong possibility that a deal will not be reached.