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House of Lords Library

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Lords Committee Stage

Published Thursday, April 12, 2018

This House of Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of report stage in the House of Lords of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which starts on 18 April 2018. It summarises areas of the Bill at which the Government indicated during committee proceedings it would look again.

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The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was considered by the House of Lords at committee stage over eleven days between 21 February and 28 March 2018. No amendments were made to the Bill and no divisions took place during committee stage. All amendments formally moved during the committee stage were subsequently withdrawn by the Member responsible.

This briefing is intended to provide an overview of areas where the Government indicated it would further consider issues raised in amendments tabled by Members, including: Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020; general principles of EU law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; the status of retained EU law; animal sentience; Francovich claims; post-exit judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union; the threshold for exercising delegated powers in the Bill; the creation of public bodies by secondary legislation; powers to impose fees and taxes; powers to create criminal offences; the scrutiny of sub-delegated legislation; implementing the Withdrawal Agreement and a ‘meaningful’ vote; local government consultation; issues related to the devolution settlement; the publication of retained EU law; and the public sector equality duty in the context of explanatory statements on subordinate legislation.

This is indicative of areas where the Bill may change at report stage because the Government has indicated it may return with amendments to areas identified in response to Members’ concerns. However, it should be noted that even where the Government has indicated it will look further at an issue, it may not result in amendments being tabled at a later stage. This briefing does not summarise amendments where the Government has stated its opposition but where the Government may be defeated were the issue to return and be voted on at a later stage in the Bill’s proceedings. Many Members suggested when withdrawing their amendments at committee stage that they would seek to return to the issue on report.

The Bill is scheduled to be considered for six days on report, between 18 April and 8 May 2018. For clause-by-clause coverage of the Bill’s provisions, please see the House of Lords Library briefing European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, 25 January 2018.

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.