Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Part of Informal European Council – in the House of Commons at 4:57 pm on 6th February 2017.

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Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 4:57 pm, 6th February 2017

New clause 3 concerns the parliamentary oversight of the negotiations that will follow the triggering of article 50. It would require the Government to report back to Parliament at least every two months on the progress of negotiations and to lay reports before both Houses of Parliament on each occasion. Let me be clear that the purpose is to improve the Bill by providing Parliament with the means not only to effectively monitor the Government’s progress throughout the negotiations, but to actively contribute to their success by facilitating substantive scrutiny that can positively influence the outcome.

We are here today debating this new clause and other new clauses and amendments to the Bill only because the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s November ruling on the triggering of article 50, confirming that only Parliament, not Ministers using the royal prerogative, can initiate the start of the UK’s exit from the EU.