Less than two weeks after the Government confirmed its comprehensive plans for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, it has published a further White Paper explaining how the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement will be put into law.
The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – formerly known as the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill – will legislate for the major elements of the Withdrawal Agreement we reach with the EU, including issues such as the agreement on citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the details of a time-limited implementation period.
The precise details of the Bill will be subject to the ongoing negotiations with the EU but today’s White Paper provides yet more legal certainty as we prepare to leave the EU in March next year.
It confirms that the Bill will:
be the primary means by which the rights of EU citizens will be implemented and protected in UK law;
amend some parts of the EU (Withdrawal) Act to ensure that our statute book functions correctly during the time-limited implementation period; and
create a financial authority to manage the specific payments to be made under the financial settlement, with appropriate Parliamentary oversight.
With UK and EU negotiators continuing to work through outstanding parts of the Withdrawal Agreement, including on Northern Ireland and other separation issues, more detail on how they will be legislated for will be provided in due course.
The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Dominic Raab said:
“This White Paper on the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill explains the pragmatic approach we are taking to legislating for our Withdrawal Agreement, including the time-limited implementation period that we agreed with the EU in March.
“It also provides further certainty at home and in the negotiations that the UK is getting on with the job of delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit while giving Parliamentarians an opportunity to consider the detail of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill before it is introduced.
“We look forward to working with MPs and peers on this crucial piece of legislation which will give effect to our exit Treaty in law.”
The Bill was announced in November last year, but this is the first time that the Government has presented detail on how key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement will be made reality in UK law.
It follows the EU (Withdrawal) Act which received Royal Assent on 26 June 2018 and will ensure that our statute book functions when we leave, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.