LORDS

Tenth Informal Brexit Liaison Group meeting held

22 December 2017

The tenth meeting of the Informal Brexit Liaison Group, set up by the House of Lords Liaison Committee in November 2016, was held on Tuesday 19 December 2017.

The Group held a discussion with Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, former President of the Supreme Court.

Topics discussed included the joint document between the UK Government and the EU, which includes citizens' rights, and the likely continued role for the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with discretionary references from the UK courts; the ability of the UK Supreme Court to cope with the likely increase in workload if cases previously referred to the (CJEU) came before it for determination of points of law; the provisions of Clause 6 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, particularly as they relate to judicial interpretation of retained EU law; concerns about judges being drawn into the political arena and a possible obligation  on UK judges to 'have due regard to' pre-Brexit CJEU case law; and ways in which Clause 6 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill might be amended.

As usual, the Committee Chairmen present updated the Group on recent and planned Brexit-related scrutiny. Following the last meeting the Chairman had received a letter from Lord Callanan confirming that he expected the total number of Brexit-related statutory instruments to be between 800-1,000. He had also received a letter from the Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, welcoming the creation of the lnterparliamentary Forum on Brexit and the opportunity it had created for the Government to supplement the existing channels of engagement. These included not only the select committees in Westminster, but also those in the devolved legislatures.

The Group is expected to meet next on 29 January 2018.

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Attendance

The following Committee Chairmen were present:

Baroness Garden of Frognal represented the Liberal Democrats and the Group was chaired by Lord McFall of Alcluith, Senior Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Liaison Committee. Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lord Patel, Communications Committee Chairman Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee Chairman Lord Blencathra and Constitution Committee Chairman Baroness Taylor of Bolton were unable to attend.

Members of the Liaison Committee were also invited to attend. Lady Hayter of Kentish Town, Lord Hope of Craighead and Lord Low of Dalston attended the meeting.

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