Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Exiting the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:32 pm on 28th June 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 12:32 pm, 28th June 2018

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his question and for his sterling service on the Committee. That is indeed a possibility due to the way that the draft withdrawal agreement is constructed at the moment. The commitment to pay the outstanding moneys that we owe, which the Government have accepted, is part of that agreement and not conditional on what may transpire in the negotiations on the future partnership. There has been some debate on this subject; indeed, we questioned Ministers on it when they appeared before the Committee. We say in the report:

“We note that the Government has not yet secured a clause in the Withdrawal Agreement linking the financial settlement to the satisfactory conclusion of negotiations on the framework for the future relationship. We call on the Government to confirm whether the inclusion of such a clause is one of its negotiating objectives.”

We wait to see what the Government say in response. As things stand at the moment, the commitment has been made to pay the money as part of the withdrawal agreement, and it is not linked to the future partnership and the treaty negotiations on that, which we hope will be concluded by December 2020.