European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill - Clauses

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For the third reading of the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, Labour tabled a number of targeted amendments that were debated, and voted upon.

Our amendments were not about delaying or preventing Article 50 being triggered because we respect and accept the outcome of the referendum result. They were aimed at ensuring that the government consults Parliament in an appropriate and timely manner, and they were also designed to ensure that we protect the security, jobs and livelihoods of the British people.

I supported the following amendments:

New Clause 1: Parliamentary approval for agreements with the Union

“Parliamentary approval for agreements with the Union (1) Where a Minister of the Crown proposes to conclude an agreement with the European Union setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union— 

(a) the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a statement of the proposed terms of the agreement, and
(b) no Minister of the Crown may conclude any such agreement unless the proposed terms have been approved by resolution of both Houses.
(2) The requirements of subsection (1) also apply where a Minister of the Crown proposes to conclude an agreement with the European Union for the future relationship of the United Kingdom with the European Union.
(3) In the case of a proposed agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the statement under subsection (1)(a) must be laid before the proposed terms are agreed with the Commission with a view to their approval by the European Parliament or the Council.”


This new clause requires Ministers to seek the approval of Parliament of any proposed Withdrawal Agreement before final terms are agreed with the Commission and prior to endorsement by the European Parliament and Council.

 

New Clause 2: Conduct of negotiations

 “Conduct of negotiations Before giving any notification under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the Prime Minister shall give an undertaking to have regard to the public interest during negotiations in— 

(a) maintaining a stable and sustainable economy, 

(b) preserving peace in Northern Ireland, 

(c) having trading arrangements with the European Union for goods and services that are free of tariff and non-tariff barriers and further regulatory burdens, 

(d) co-operation with the European Union in education, research and science, environment protection, and preventing and detecting serious and organised crime and terrorist activity, 

(e) maintaining all existing social, economic, consumer and workers’ rights.” 

 

This new clause sets out statutory objectives that the Government must have regard to whilst carrying out negotiations under article 50.

 

New Clause 3: Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Parliamentary oversight of negotiations Before issuing any notification under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union the Prime Minister shall give an undertaking to— 

(a) lay before each House of Parliament periodic reports, at intervals of no more than two months on the progress of the negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union;

(b) lay before each House of Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable a copy in English of any document which the European Council or the European Commission has provided to the European Parliament or any committee of the European Parliament relating to the negotiations; 

(c) make arrangements for Parliamentary scrutiny of confidential documents.” 

 

This new clause establishes powers through which the UK Parliament can scrutinise the UK Government throughout the negotiations

 

NC4: Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) 

 “Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) 

(1) In negotiating and concluding any agreements in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must consult, and take into account the views of, a Joint Ministerial Committee at intervals of no less than two months and before signing any agreements with the European Commission. 

(2) In the course of consulting under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must seek to reach a consensus with the devolved administrations on— 

(a) the terms of withdrawal from the European Union, and 

(b) the framework for the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union. 

(3) Subject to subsection 

(4) The Joint Ministerial Committee shall consist of— 

(a) the Prime Minister, 

(b) Ministers of the Crown, 

(c) the First Minister of Scotland and a further representative of the Scottish Government, 

(d) the First Minister of Wales and a further representative of the Welsh Government, and 

(e) the First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and a further representative of the Northern Ireland Executive. 

(4) The Prime Minister may, for the purposes of this Act, determine that the Joint Ministerial Committee shall consist of representatives of the governing authorities of the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

New Clause 5: Impact assessments

 “Impact assessments 

(1) The Prime Minster may not give notice under section 1 until either— (a) HM Treasury has published any impact assessment it has conducted since 23 June 2016 on the United Kingdom’s future trading relationship with the European Union, or, (b) HM Treasury has laid a statement before both Houses of Parliament declaring that no such assessment has been conducted since 23 June 2016.” Member’s explanatory statement This new clause requires the Government to publish any recently conducted Treasury impact assessments of different trading models with the European Union.

 

New Clause 6: EU citizens resident in the United Kingdom

 “EU citizens resident in the United Kingdom (1) Anyone who is lawfully resident in the United Kingdom— 

(a) on the day on which section 1 comes into force, and 

(b) in accordance with or as consequence of any provision of a Treaty to which section 1 relates, shall have no less favourable rights of residence or opportunities to obtain rights of residence than they currently enjoy.” 

 

This new clause guarantees the rights of EU nationals living in the UK at the date when article 50 is triggered.

 

New Clause 7: Conduct of negotiations—anti-tax haven

 “Conduct of negotiations—anti-tax haven 

(1) In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must have regard to the public interest in maintaining all existing EU tax avoidance and evasion legislation. 

(2) In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of Crown must comply with the European Union Code of Conduct on Business Taxation.” 

 

New Clause 8: EU and United Kingdom nationals

 “EU and United Kingdom nationals In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must resolve to guarantee the rights of residence of anyone who is lawfully resident in the United Kingdom on the day on which section 1 comes into force in accordance with or as consequence of any provision of a Treaty to which section 1 relates, and United Kingdom nationals living in the parts of the European Union that are not the United Kingdom before the European Council finalises their initial negotiating guidelines and directives.”

 

New Clause 9: Maintenance of Worker Rights derived from EU law: plan

“Maintenance of Worker Rights derived from EU law: plan
(1) Section 1 of this Act shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid before each House of Parliament a report on the steps which Her Majesty’s Government has taken or plans to take to secure that the EU Worker Rights will (subject only to any primary legislation passed after the exit date) be maintained in United Kingdom law after the exit date.

(2) In this section— “EU Worker Rights” means any of the rights, duties, remedies and procedures provided for by or under legislation (whether primary legislation or subordinate legislation) applying to the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom which gives effect in United Kingdom law or in the law of a part of the United Kingdom to the Directives listed in Schedule (Worker Rights: EU Directives, etc.); “exit date” means the date on which the United Kingdom ceases to be a member of the European Union; “part of the United Kingdom” means England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales or Great Britain; “primary legislation” means any— (a) public general Act, (b) local or personal Act, or (c) private Act; “secondary legislation” means any— (a) Order in Council other than one— (i) made in exercise of Her Majesty’s Royal Prerogative; or (ii) amending an Act of a kind mentioned in the definition of primary legislation; (b) Act of the Scottish Parliament; (c) Measure of the National Assembly for Wales; (d) Act of the National Assembly of Wales; (e) Order, rules, regulations, scheme, warrant, byelaw or other instrument made under primary legislation (except to the extent to which it operates to bring one or more provisions of that legislation into force or amends any primary legislation); (f) Order, rules, regulations, scheme, warrant, byelaw or other instrument made by a member of the Scottish Executive, Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales, or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government in exercise of prerogative or other executive functions of Her Majesty which are exercisable by such a person on behalf of Her Majesty.”

 
This new clause requires the Secretary of State to produce a plan before section 1 can come into force on steps taken or planned to be taken to secure that EU Worker Rights will be maintained in United Kingdom law after the exit date, subject only to the passage of primary legislation after the exit date

 

New Clause 10: Worker Rights: maintenance of EU standards after exit

“Worker Rights: maintenance of EU standards after exit (1) EU Worker Rights which, at the exit date, were without further enactment given legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall, with effect from the exit date, be recognised and available in law and be enforced, allowed and followed to the same extent as it was before the exit date.
(2) For the purpose of all legal proceedings, any question as to the meaning or effect of any EU Worker Right shall be determined in accordance with the principles laid down by and any relevant judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
(3) Evidence of any judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union may be given in any legal proceedings by production of a copy certified as a true copy by an official of that institution; and any document purporting to be a copy shall be received in evidence without proof of the official position or handwriting of the person signing the certificate.
(4) So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect to in a way which is compatible with EU Worker Rights.
(5) Subsection (4)— (a) applies to primary legislation and subordinate legislation whenever enacted; (b) does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible primary legislation; and (c) does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible subordinate legislation if (disregarding any possibility of revocation) primary legislation prevents removal of the incompatibility.
(6) Legislation (whether primary legislation or subordinate legislation) applying to the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom which gives effect in United Kingdom law or in the law of a part of the United Kingdom to the Directives listed in Schedule (Worker Rights: EU Directives, etc) shall continue in full force and effect after the exit date.
(7) Subsection (6) shall apply regardless of any repeal or amendments to the European Communities Act 1972.
(8) After the exit date, no amendment may be made to legislation to which subsection (6) applies or to Schedule (Worker Rights: EU Directives, etc) save by primary legislation.
(9) Subsection (4) does not prevent amendments to relevant legislation for the purpose of introducing provisions which are more favourable to the protection of workers.
(10) In this section— “EU Worker Rights” means any of the rights, duties, remedies and procedures provided for by or under legislation (whether primary legislation or subordinate legislation) applying to the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom which gives effect in United Kingdom law or in the law of a part of the United Kingdom to the Directives listed in Schedule (Worker Rights: EU Directives, etc); “exit date” means the date on which the United Kingdom ceases to be a member of the European Union; “part of the United Kingdom” means England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales or Great Britain; “primary legislation” means any— (a) public general Act, (b) local or personal Act, or (c) private Act; “subordinate legislation” means any— (a) Order in Council other than one— (i) made in exercise of Her Majesty’s Royal Prerogative; or (ii) amending an Act of a kind mentioned in the definition or primary legislation; (b) Act of the Scottish Parliament; (c) Measure of the National Assembly for Wales; (d) Act of the National Assembly of Wales; (e) Order, rules, regulations, scheme, warrant, byelaw or other instrument made under primary legislation (except to the extent to which it operates to bring one or more provisions of that legislation into force or amends any primary legislation); (f) Order, rules, regulations, scheme, warrant, byelaw or other instrument made by a member of the Scottish Executive, Welsh Ministers, the First Minister for Wales, or the Counsel General to the Welsh Assembly Government in exercise of prerogative or other executive functions of Her Majesty which are exercisable by such a person on behalf of Her Majesty; “the relevant period” means the period which begins with notification of withdrawal under section 1 and ends two calendar years after the exit date.”

This new clause, together with New Schedule 1, provides for EU Worker Rights on exit day to continue in force in the United Kingdom subject only to changes made by primary legislation.

 

New Clause 13: Transitional arrangements

“Transitional arrangements Her Majesty’s Government shall seek a transitional trading agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union as part of the negotiations following notification under section 1.”

This new clause would make it an objective for HM Government to secure a transitional approach towards new trading relationships with the EU Member States following the end of the Article 50 notification and negotiation period

 

New Clause 28: Parliamentary sovereignty

“Parliamentary sovereignty
Before exercising the power under section 1, the Prime Minister must undertake that a vote on the proposed agreement setting out—
(a) the arrangements for withdrawal, and
(b) the future relationship with the European Union will take place in the House of Commons before any vote in the European Parliament.”

This new clause puts a requirement on the Prime Minister to ensure a vote on final terms takes place in the House of Commons before the European Parliament votes on the deal

 

New Clause 56: Notification of withdrawal from the EEA

“Notification of withdrawal from the EEA
The Prime Minister may not give the notification under section 1 until such time as Parliament has determined whether the UK should also seek to withdraw from the European Economic Area in accordance with Article 127 of the EEA Agreement.”

This new clause would allow for proper parliamentary debate and scrutiny of the United Kingdom’s membership of the Single Market and whether the UK should remain as a member of the European Economic Area prior to the Prime Minister triggering Article 50.

 

New Clause 98: Protected characteristics—Equality Impact Assessments

“Protected characteristics—
Equality Impact Assessments
(1) In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must have regard to the impact of any new relationship with the European Union on protected characteristics, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.
(2) Any report the Government lays before Parliament on the progress of the withdrawal negotiation must be accompanied by an Equality Impact Assessment.
(3) Neither House of Parliament may approve by resolution any new relationship with the European Union unless an Equality Impact Assessment has been laid before both Houses of Parliament.”

This new clause would place specific duties on the Government to demonstrate compliance with the 2010 Equality Act, ensuring that the impact of decisions on women and those with protected characteristics are considered and debated at every stage of the process.

 

New Clause 137: Future relationship with the European Union

“Future relationship with the European Union
(1) Following the exercise of the power in Section 1, any new treaty or relationship with the European Union must be subject to the express approval of Parliament.
(2) In the event of Parliament declining to approve the new treaty or relationship set out in subsection (1), Her Majesty’s Government shall seek to negotiate an alternative new agreement with the European Union.”

The Prime Minister has guaranteed that Parliament will have a vote on the final deal between the UK and the EU. This new clause is intended to make that vote meaningful by ensuring that if Parliament votes against the terms of such a deal, the Government shall try to negotiate an alternative future trading agreement and shall not default without agreement to the World Trade Organisation rules.

 

New Clause 156: Parliamentary approval—tariffs

“Parliamentary approval—tariffs
(1) Any proposals emerging following the exercise of the power in section 1 for the imposition of tariffs by Her Majesty’s Government that are new, amended, or transposed from the European Union, or for the rescission of tariffs, shall not be ratified except by resolution of both Houses of Parliament.
(2) The process of amending the World Trade Organisation schedules of tariff commitments shall be not be ratified except by resolution of both Houses of Parliament.”

This new clause ensures that the imposition of tariffs by the United Kingdom Government and the proposals placed before the World Trade Organisation setting our schedules of commitments shall be subject to the express approval of Parliament.

 

New Clause 157: Funding for Wales

“Funding for Wales Before exercising the power under section 1, the Prime Minister must give an undertaking that it will be the policy of Her Majesty’s Government that the level of real terms public funding for Wales in any year after the UK has left the European Union, should be no less than the combined public funding from the UK Government and EU funding programmes, in the year in which notification is given, adjusted for inflation and any growth in overall UK public expenditure.”

 

New Clause 166: Rights and opportunities of young people

“Rights and opportunities of young people In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must seek to ensure that the rights and opportunities of people aged under 25 in the United Kingdom are maintained on the same terms as on the day on which Royal Assent is given to this Act, including—
(a) retaining the ability to work and travel visa-free in the EU,
(b) retaining the ability to study in other EU member states on the same terms as on the day on which Royal Assent is given to this Act, and
(c) retaining the ability to participate in EU programmes designed to provide opportunities to young people, including programmes to facilitate studying in other EU member states.”

This new clause would ensure that the Government must seek to protect the rights and opportunities currently enjoyed by young UK nationals so that they should not become worse off than their European counterparts.

 

New Clause 167: Rights and opportunities of young people – impact assessment

“Rights and opportunities of young people—impact assessment
(1) Before exercising the power under section 1, the Prime Minister must undertake to publish an assessment of the effect of leaving the European Union on the rights and opportunities of people aged under 25 in the United Kingdom, including— (a) the effect on the ability to work and travel visa-free in the EU, (b) the effect on the ability to study in other EU member states on the same terms as on the day on which Royal Assent is given to this Act, and (c) the effect on the ability to participate in EU programmes designed to provide opportunities to young people, including programmes to facilitate studying in other EU member states.
(2) The impact assessment in subsection (1) shall be laid before Parliament before— (a) 12 months have elapsed after this Act receives Royal Assent, or (b) the day on which Her Majesty’s Government declares that agreement has been reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whichever is the sooner.”

This new clause would require the Government to undertake an impact assessment of the effect of leaving the EU on the rights and opportunities of young UK nationals and how they will differ from their European counterparts

 

New Clause 168: National Convention

“National Convention (1) Before exercising the power under section 1, the Prime Minister must undertake to establish a National Convention on Exiting the European Union.
(2) The National Convention shall advise Her Majesty’s Government on its priorities during negotiations with the EU on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
(3) Ministers of the Crown must take into account the views of the National Convention before signing any agreements with the European Commission on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
(4) Membership of the National Convention shall be determined by the Secretary of State and shall include— (a) elected mayors, (b) elected representatives of local government, (c) representatives of universities and higher education, (d) representatives of universities and higher education, (e) representatives of business organisations, (f) members of the Scottish Parliament, (g) members of the National Assembly of Wales, (h) members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (i) members of the European Parliament, (j) other representatives considered by the Secretary of State to represent expertise and experience of British civil society.
(5) The National Convention must convene before— (a) 12 months have elapsed after this Act has received Royal Assent, or (b) the day on which Her Majesty’s Government declares that agreement has been reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whichever is the sooner.
(6) The National Convention shall meet in public.
(7) The National Convention must, following its convening, lay a report before Parliament before— (a) 15 months have elapsed after this Act receives Royal Assent, or (b) the day on which Her Majesty’s Government declares that agreement has been reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whichever is the sooner.”

This new clause would require the Government to establish a National Convention of representatives across of levels of Government, regions and sectors, to meet and produce a report recommending negotiating priorities, to better reflect the needs of the regions of the UK.

 

New Clause 182: Parliamentary approval for agreements with the Union

“Parliamentary approval for agreements with the Union
(1) Where a Minister of the Crown proposes to conclude an agreement with the European Union setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union— (a) the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a statement of the proposed terms of the agreement, and (b) no Minister of the Crown may conclude any such agreement unless the proposed terms have been approved by resolution of both Houses.
(2) The requirements of subsection (1) also apply where a Minister of the Crown proposes to conclude an agreement with the European Union for the future relationship of the United Kingdom with the European Union.
(3) In the case of a proposed agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the statement under subsection (1)(a) must be laid before the proposed terms are agreed with the Commission with a view to their approval by the European Parliament or the Council.
(4) In laying a statement before Parliament under subsection (1)(a), Her Majesty’s Government shall have regard to the requirements of Parliament for adequate time to consider the statement before the proposed terms are put to each House for approval under subsection (1)(b).”

This new clause is an alternative version of New Clause 1 which provides for additional time being allowed for consideration by Parliament of the proposed terms of the agreement before the vote.

 

New Clause 183: Membership of the single market including EU-wide reform of freedom of movement

“Membership of the single market including EU-wide reform of freedom of movement
(1) In negotiating and concluding an agreement in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, Ministers of the Crown must seek to— (a) secure reforms of provisions governing the free movement of persons between EU member states in such a way as to allow for greater controls over movement of people for member states and to enable the UK to retain full membership of the European single market, or (b) maintain the highest possible level of integration with the European single market.”

This new clause would ensure that the Government must seek to negotiate EU-wide reforms to freedom of movement in the single market to enable the Government to seek to retain membership of the single market or as close to membership as possible

 

New Clause 192: Nuclear Collaboration

“Nuclear Collaboration (1) Nothing in this Act shall affect the UK’s membership of the European Atomic Agency Community (Euratom). (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act, Her Majesty’s Government shall treat the process of leaving Euratom as separate to that of leaving the European Union.”