The Government has taken further steps to provide clarity and certainty as we leave the European Union by announcing a new Bill to enshrine the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU in domestic law.
In this afternoon’s statement to the House on the latest round of Brexit negotiations, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis outlined plans for the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill.
This confirms that the major policies set out in the Withdrawal Agreement will be directly implemented into domestic law by primary legislation – not by secondary legislation under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. This will allow for Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight of the process.
The Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis said:
We have always said we will do whatever is necessary to prepare for our exit, including bringing forward further legislation, and that is exactly what we are doing.
This is another important step that demonstrates our pragmatic approach to getting our house in order as we leave the EU.
By announcing this Bill, we are providing clarity and certainty - both in the negotiations and at home - about the final agreement being put into UK law.
As we move forward, we stand ready to work with MPs from across the House to ensure a smooth, and orderly exit from the EU that is effectively scrutinised by Parliament.
The exact details of the Withdrawal Agreement are the subject of ongoing and future negotiations and cannot be known until those negotiations are near completion.
Therefore a Bill separate to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is required to legislate for our withdrawal arrangements and planned Implementation Period.
The Bill is expected to cover the contents of the Withdrawal Agreement, including issues such as an agreement on citizens’ rights, any financial settlement and the details of an implementation period agreed between both sides.
Bringing forward this Bill means that Parliament will be given time to debate, scrutinise and vote on the final agreement we strike with the EU. It comes over and above the undertaking the Government has already made that it will give Parliament a vote on the final deal as soon as possible after the deal is agreed.
The announcement of the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill comes ahead of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill entering Committee Stage in the House of Commons tomorrow (Tuesday 14 November) when amendments will be debated by MPs.
Day one of Committee Stage will include debate about the first clause of the Bill which repeals the European Communities Act 1972.
Last week, the Government tabled an amendment to the Bill, putting exit day on the face of the Bill after Ministers listened carefully to the debate around setting ‘exit day’ for the statutory purposes of the Bill.
There will be two days of debate for the Withdrawal Bill’s Commons Committee Stage this week (Tuesday and Wednesday). Further dates for debate will be scheduled in due course and announced by the Leader of the House.