Duties in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs, Chair, Standing Orders Committee 5:21 pm, 4th September 2019

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 8, page 1, line 16, leave out subsection (2).

Amendment 9, page 2, line 8, leave out subsection (3) and insert—

‘(3) If the condition in subsection (1) is not satisfied, subsection (4) shall apply.’

Amendment 10, page 2, line 10, leave out subsection (4) and insert—

‘(4) The Prime Minister shall seek to discuss with the European Council a further short extension of the period under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union ending at 11.00 pm on 31 October 2019 by sending to the President of the European Council a letter in the form set out in Schedule [Form of letter from the Prime Minister to the President of the European Council (No. 2)].’

Amendment 20, page 2, line 12, leave out from “2019” to end of line 17.

The intention of this Amendment is to ensure that if the House of Commons approves a withdrawal agreement, the Prime Minister must seek an extension of the period under Article 50(3) TEU.

Amendment 6, page 2, line 14, at end, insert

‘in order to debate and pass a Bill to implement the agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including provisions reflecting the outcome of inter-party talks as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May 2019, and in particular the need for the United Kingdom to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect the outcome of those inter-party talks.’

This amendment would set out as the purpose of seeking an extension under Article 50(3) TEU the passage of a Withdrawal Agreement Bill based on the outcome of the inter-party talks which concluded in May 2019 – see NC1 for contents of the Bill and Amendment XX for text of the request letter to the European Council.

Amendment 11, page 2, line 15, leave out subsection (5).

Clause stand part.

Clause 2 stand part.

Amendment 22, in clause 3, page 2, line 43, leave out subsections (1) to (3).

The intention of this Amendment is to remove the requirement to accept whatever extension is decided on by the European Council while preserving the flexibility in subsection (4) to agree an extension otherwise than under this Act.

Amendment 25, page 3, line 3, leave out subsection (2).

Amendment 23, page 3, line 19, leave out “section” and insert “Act”.

The Amendment is consequential on Amendment 22 leaving out subsections 3(1) to 3(3).

Clauses 3 and 4 stand part.

Amendment 15, in clause 5, page 3, line 31, leave out subsection (3).

Amendment 16, page 3, line 35, leave out subsection (5) and insert—

‘(5) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(5A) The remaining provisions of this Act come into force on such day or days as the Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument appoint.

(5B) No regulations may be made under subsection (5A) unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing them has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.’

Amendment 17, page 3, line 35, leave out from “force” to end and insert “on 22 October 2019.”

Clause 5 stand part.

New clause 1—Publication of Withdrawal Agreement Bill—

‘(1) The Prime Minister must within the period of five days, not including any Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, beginning with the day on which this Act is passed publish a copy of a draft Bill to implement the Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union.

(2) The draft Bill must include provisions reflecting the outcome of inter-party talks as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May 2019, and in particular—

(a) provision for the Government to seek to conclude alternative arrangements to replace the backstop by December 2020;

(b) a commitment that, should the backstop come into force, the Government will ensure that Great Britain will stay aligned with Northern Ireland and to incorporate in United Kingdom law paragraph 50 of the 2017 joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union (TF50 (2017) 19);

(c) provision for the negotiating objectives and final treaties for the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union to be approved by the House of Commons;

(d) legislation on workers’ rights to guarantee workers’ rights in the future in the United Kingdom will be no less favourable than comparable workers’ rights in the European Union;

(e) provisions ensuring that there will be no change in the level of environmental protection applicable in the United Kingdom after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and to establish an independent office of environmental protection, able to uphold standards and enforce compliance;

(f) a requirement for the United Kingdom to seek as close to frictionless trade in goods with the European Union as possible, while outside the single market and ending free movement;

(g) a requirement for the United Kingdom to keep up to date with European Union rules for goods and agri-food products that are relevant to checks at the border in order to protect employment that depends on just-in-time supply chains;

(h) a customs compromise for the House of Commons to decide upon;

(i) an opportunity for a decision to be made by the House of Commons whether the implementation of the withdrawal agreement should be subject to a referendum; and

(j) a duty for Ministers of the Crown to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect the provisions in this subsection.’

This New Clause would require the publication of a Withdrawal Agreement Bill incorporating the ten headline points from the inter-party talks which concluded in May 2019.

Amendment 7, schedule, page 4, line 10, at end insert

‘I wish to make clear to European Council colleagues that the purpose of this proposed extension is for the UK Parliament to debate and pass a Bill to implement the agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, including provisions reflecting the outcome of inter-party talks as announced by the Prime Minister on 21 May 2019, and in particular the need for the United Kingdom to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect the outcome of those inter-party talks.’

This amendment would require the Prime Minister to set out in the letter to the President of the European Council seeking an extension under Article 50(3) TEU that the reason for seeking an extension is to pass a Withdrawal Agreement Bill based on the outcome of the inter-party talks which concluded in May 2019 — see NC1 for contents of the Bill.

That the schedule be the schedule to the Bill.

New schedule 2—Form of letter from the Prime Minister to the President of the European Council—

Dear Mr President

The UK Parliament has passed the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019. Its provisions now require Her Majesty’s Government to seek to discuss an extension of the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, including as applied by Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, currently due to expire at 11.00pm GMT on 31 October 2019.

I am writing therefore to inform the European Council that the United Kingdom wishes to discuss a further short extension to the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, including as applied by Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty.

Yours sincerely,

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.’