The European Union Committee has launched a short inquiry on Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny. This inquiry follows on from the Committee’s short report on Scrutinising Brexit: the role of Parliament, which was published on 22 July 2016.
Focus of the inquiry
Following the vote to leave the European Union, the Committee will examine the means by which Parliament can effectively scrutinise the forthcoming negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from, and new relationship with, the European Union. This is one of a series of short inquiries on aspects of Brexit which are being undertaken by the EU Committee and its Sub-Committees.
The inquiry will begin with a public meeting on 6 September 2016, at which three expert witnesses, Ms Jill Barrett, The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG and Professor Derrick Wyatt QC will give evidence. Further evidence will be sought from the Government in due course.
No public call for evidence will be issued as part of this inquiry, though the Committee will be interested to receive the views of stakeholders on the issues outlined below. Any submissions should be sent to the Committee, at [email protected], no later than 30 September 2016.
- What involvement should Parliament have in scrunitinising the negotiations? What should be the principal objectives of parliamentary scrutiny of negotiations?
- Although treaties, once agreed, are subject to ratification by Parliament, the two Houses normally play little or no role in scrutinising treaty negotiations. Should Parliament play an enhanced role in scrutinising the terms of Brexit negotiations? What would be the rationale for such an enhanced role?
- What practical challenges would Parliament face in scrutinising the negotiations?
- How can the need for negotiations to be conducted confidentially be reconciled with effective parliamentary scrutiny?
- Should parliamentary scrutiny of the negotiations be underpinned by a formal resolution or code of practice? If so, what should be the terms of engagement?