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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:20 pm on 8th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith Lord Goldsmith Labour 5:20 pm, 8th May 2018

My Lords, this amendment deals with a point that we raised and discussed in Committee. It may be that this group will not take too long, although that will depend upon what the Minister has to say. The important point about this is that the Bill as drafted would mean that at the moment Royal Assent was given, certain things would happen, including that the jurisdiction of the CJEU would come to an end. We raised the point that, given that it appeared likely that during an implementation period the Court of Justice of the European Union would continue, by agreement, to have certain jurisdiction, it would be important not to see the CJEU’s jurisdiction fall off a cliff edge, as it were. It may be that the noble and learned Lord the Minister will be able to reassure us that they will deal with this so as to ensure that if the CJEU continues to have jurisdiction in certain circumstances—which, as I say, I believe is a likely outcome of the continuation of the discussions—the Bill will not have taken away the ability to do that.

Amendment 109 would not allow Clause 6—which, among other things, brings the CJEU’s jurisdiction to an end—to come into effect until,

“the expiration of transitional arrangements agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union”.

The amendment focuses on transitional arrangements that are in fact agreed, not hypothetical arrangements. It would achieve no mischief because transitional arrangements would in fact be agreed and we would be saying simply that the jurisdiction of the CJEU should not come to an end until the end of that period.

The Minister may put forward some alternative way of achieving the same effect. I will listen very carefully, as will other noble Lords, to what he has to say about that. For the time being, I beg to move.