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Parliamentary approval of the future relationship

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Votes in this debate

‘(1) The Secretary of State may not engage in negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU until a Minister of the Crown has laid a draft negotiating mandate before each House of Parliament and—

(a) moved an amendable motion in the House of Commons containing the text of the draft negotiating mandate;

(b) the draft negotiating mandate (as amended) has been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons, and

(c) a motion for the House of Lords to take note of the draft negotiating mandate has been moved in that House by a Minister of the Crown.

(2) The draft negotiating mandate must set out in detail—

(a) the UK’s negotiation objectives,

(b) all fields and sectors to be included in the proposed negotiations,

(c) the principles to underpin the proposed negotiation,

(d) any limits on the proposed negotiations, and

(e) the desired outcomes from the proposed negotiations.

(3) Prior to laying the draft negotiating mandate, a Minister of the Crown must have consulted each devolved administration on the negotiating mandate.

(4) Prior to the House’s consideration of a motion under subsection (1)(b), a Minister of the Crown must lay before both Houses of Parliament a sustainability impact assessment conducted by a credible body independent of government following consultation with—

(a) each devolved administration,

(b) public bodies, businesses, trade unions and non-governmental organisations which, in the opinion of the independent body, have a relevant interest, and

(c) the public.

(5) The assessment shall include both qualitative and quantitative assessments of the potential impacts of the proposed trade agreement, including—

(a) social,

(b) economic,

(c) environmental,

(d) gender,

(e) equalities,

(f) climate change,

(g) human rights,

(h) labour,

(i) development, and

(j) regional

impacts.

(6) In conducting negotiations on the future relationship with the EU, a Minister of the Crown must seek to achieve the objectives set out in the negotiating mandate approved under subsection (1)(b).

(7) After the end of each reporting period, a Minister of the Crown must—

(a) lay before each House of Parliament a report on the progress made, by the end of the period, in negotiations on the future relationship with the EU, including—

(i) the Minister’s assessment of the extent to which the outcome of those negotiations is likely to reflect the negotiating mandate approved under subsection (1)(b), and

(ii) if the Minister’s assessment is that the future relationship with the EU is, in any respect, not likely to reflect that mandate, an explanation of why that is so, and

(b) lay before each House of Parliament the latest rounds of negotiating texts, by the end of each reporting period, and

(c) provide a copy of the report to the Presiding Officer of each of the devolved legislatures and to—

(i) the Scottish Ministers,

(ii) the Welsh Ministers, and

(iii) the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland or the Executive Office in Northern Ireland.

(8) Subsections (9) to (13) apply if, in the opinion of a Minister of the Crown, an agreement in principle has been reached with the EU on a treaty the principal purpose of which is to deal with all or part of the future relationship with the EU.

(9) A Minister of the Crown must lay before each House of Parliament—

(a) a statement that political agreement has been reached, and

(b) a copy of the negotiated future relationship treaty.

(10) Prior to the laying of the text of the proposed treaty, the Secretary of State must have consulted with each devolved administration on the text of the proposed agreement and taken their views into account, with special consideration given to matters relating to devolved competences.

(11) Prior to considering a motion approving the text of the negotiated future relationship treaty, the Government must lay before each House of Parliament a response to any report by a relevant Parliamentary committee (such as the Exiting the EU select committee) containing a recommendation in relation to the ratification of the agreement.

(12) A treaty in the same form, or to substantially the same effect, as the negotiated future relationship treaty may be ratified only if the negotiated future relationship treaty has been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons on an amendable motion moved by a Minister of the Crown and—

(a) the House of Lords has not resolved, within the period of 14 Lords sitting days beginning with the day on which the negotiated future relationship treaty is laid before that House, that any treaty resulting from it should not be ratified, or

(b) if the House of Lords has so resolved within that period, a Minister of the Crown has laid before each House of Parliament a statement indicating that the Minister is of the opinion that the treaty should nevertheless be ratified and explaining why.

(13) Section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (treaties to be laid before Parliament before ratification) does not apply in relation to a treaty if subsection (11) applies in relation to the ratification of that treaty.’—(Caroline Lucas.)

This new clause ensures that MPs get a guaranteed vote with an amendable motion on the EU-UK Future Relationship and negotiating objectives, and sets out scrutiny of the negotiating mandate. It requires a sustainability impact assessment of the future relationship; the regular release of negotiation texts; and engagement with devolved administrations.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division number 8 European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill — Parliamentary approval of the future relationship

Aye: 251 MPs

No: 347 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

The Committee divided: Ayes 251, Noes 347.

Question accordingly negatived.