Amendment 28

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - Report (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 6th October 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 6:15 pm, 6th October 2020

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Flight, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, for speaking to this amendment. The Government have given written assurances in every Bill document throughout the passage of the Bill on this point; I have reiterated those assurances in Committee, and I will do so again here.

I can assure the House that Clause 5 does not enable the Government to alter the rights guaranteed to those in scope of the withdrawal agreement. The entitlements of this cohort are guaranteed by Sections 7A and 7B of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. The power at Clause 5 will not and cannot affect those provisions. Rather, it allows for EU law retained by Section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to be modified. The rights under the withdrawal agreement are therefore provided by a distinct and separate legal mechanism in relation to that of retained EU law, and this power will not affect the rights of those within the scope of the agreement. This includes those examples given by the noble Lord, Lord Flight, such as state pension uprating, the S1 scheme and the aggregation of contributions. It is therefore the Government’s view that Amendment 28 is unnecessary, on the grounds I have set out.

I note the request of the noble Baroness, Lady Sherlock, for my letter to her to be placed under the “will write” section—I am so pleased that that makes sense—of Bills before Parliament.

I reiterate that it is the Government’s view that Amendment 28 is unnecessary, on the grounds I have set out. I hope that with this explanation, the noble Lord, Lord Flight, will withdraw his amendment.