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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19: Ping Pong

Published Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This Commons Library Briefing Paper provides details of areas where the two Houses are yet to agree on the text of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ahead of the Commons debate on 20 June 2018.

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On 20 June the House of Commons will consider a message from the House of Lords regarding further amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19.  The House of Commons will be asked to agree, disagree, amend, or propose amendments in lieu to proposals made to amend the Bill in the House of Lords on 18 June. 

There are four remaining areas where the two Houses are yet to agree on the text of the Bill:

  • Meaningful vote: the House of Lords amended the Bill on a division to require that the Government bring forward an amendable motion at the end of the Article 50 negotiations;
  • Enhanced protection of specific areas of EU law: the House of Lords have proposed amendments to the Bill on 18 June to create enhanced scrutiny procedures for statutory instruments which amend or revoke subordinate legislation made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972;
  • Refugee family unity: the House of Lords have proposed a change to the Bill, that means that there would be no age limit on the sponsors of reunification;
  • Sifting Committee: the House of Lords proposed amendments provide for both Houses to sift proposals for negative statutory instruments. However, recommendations to upgrade the level of scrutiny would not be binding on ministers. 

Of these four areas, only the “meaningful vote” proposal was made on a division, with the Government defeated. The other three proposals were brought forward by Government Ministers.

The House of Lords agreed to all the other changes that the Commons had made to the Bill during the Commons consideration of Lords amendments.  This means that previous areas of disagreement with regard to the Bill between the two chambers have been resolved and will not be subject to further debate. 

This paper includes further details of the outstanding areas of disagreement between the Houses on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8345

Authors: Lucinda Maer; Graeme Cowie; Richard Kelly; Jack Simson Caird

Topics: Constitution, Devolution, EU law and treaties, Parliament

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