EU Withdrawal Bill

November 14, 2017 at 10:35 am / by

Brexit Bill

Today, Parliament will begin debating the next stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

As residents will be aware, I joined my Labour Party colleagues in voting against the Bill at Second Reading. I believe the Bill constituted a brazen power grab by Ministers who seem to be doing everything possible to avoid scrutiny over their handling of Brexit negotiations. My full speech from the second reading debate can be viewed here.

The next stage of the Bill is the Committee Stage, the point at which amendments and new clauses to the Bill can be considered, debated and then voted on. Given the enormity of this Bill, it should come as no surprise that there are over 300 amendments (the full list can be read here).

Below, I have listed the amendments I will be supporting. The list is not exhaustive, but I hope it is helpful in outlining my areas of focus as we enter this crucial stage of the Bill’s journey through Parliament. I have supported amendments written by both Conservative and Labour MPs, as I believe certain matters transcend party politics and deserve the support of all those who believe in an open, progressive future for our country.

The Speaker will select which amendments he is allowing for debate, and many of those listed below may be consolidated and grouped together.

1) I have supported amendments to limit the scope of Ministerial powers to pass new laws without a vote in parliament. They include:

New Clause 2: preventing delegated power being used to alter workplace protections and rights

New Clause 5: parliament must ratify future relationship before exit day

New Clause 6: providing for new scrutiny of delegated powers should the Bill become law.

Clause 12: Amendments 1, 32, 49, 56, 57 – which all seek to restricts delegated powers of Ministers.

New Clause 24, New Clause 55: restrict delegated powers of Ministers.

Schedule 7: Amendment 51 – requires gov’t to implement withdrawal through primary legislation rather than through the powers in this Bill

New Clause 26: Parliamentary Committee rather than Ministers decide when delegated powers used

Clause 7: Amendment 5 – Prevent EU law being abolished by Statutory Instruments; Amendment 48 – prevent protections being removed by Statutory Instruments

Clause 9: Amendment 114 – Requiring final deal with EU to be approved by Statute; Amendment 30 – Removes ability of Ministers to modify

New Clause 19: – No powers to implement the withdrawal bill until it’s clear what deal is

2) Supporting our membership of EU agencies and programmes, and consideration of future changes to EU law

Clause 1: Amendment 63 – in support of our place in the Customs Union; Amendment 305 – In support of continued membership of Euratom and other key agencies.

New Clause 10: to pursue an associate membership of Single Market

New Clause 15: Parliament must be formally informed of changes to EU law that affect life in UK

New Clause 37: ensuring derived Rights from EU agencies

3) Supporting environmental and employments rights and protections

Clause 6: Amendment 306 – Gives UK harmonious social standards with the EU after exit

New Clause 58: Protecting employment rights

Clause 4: Amendment 93 – Protecting rights before exit day; Amendment 148 – maintain UK’s obligations with regard to UN Convention on the rights of the Child; Amendments 94 and 95 – Ensure rights which currently aren’t recognised by the courts are maintained

Clause 5: Amendment 8 and 46 – enshrining the Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law (Conservative amendment); Amendment 9 – ensuring damages for breaches in principle of EU law; Amendment 10 – challenges to be brought for above damages; Amendment 101 – All existing principles of EU law will be brought into law

New Clause 12: Defends any protections for the environment or employment

New Clause 28: Environmental protections