Lords examines EU (Withdrawal) Bill

The House of Lords chamber.
23 February 2018

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill continues committee stage, line by line examination of the text, in the House of Lords on Monday 26 February at 2.30pm.

Lords committee stage day two: Monday 26 February

Members continue to debate suggested changes to the bill. Subjects are expected to include health care, education and security.

Remaining committee stage days are scheduled for:

  • 28 February
  • 5 March
  • 7 March
  • 12 March
  • 14 March
  • 19 March
  • 21 March
  • 26 March

All parliamentary business is subject to change.

What happens next?

Lords committee stage day three: Wednesday 28 February

Members are expected to continue their line by line check of the bill.

What's happened so far?

Lords committee stage day one: Wednesday 21 February

Members discussed the implications of exit day until midnight. Suggested changes debated covered:

  • the UK's membership of the single market and customs union
  • Parliament's role in setting the date and time of exit day
  • the role of the devolved administrations in repealing the European Communities Act 1972
  • nuclear safeguards and the UK remaining a member of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

Members sought to press the government on its position on these issues. No votes took place.

Second reading day two: Wednesday 31 January

Members of the House of Lords, including scientists, academics, doctors, business leaders and former chancellors of the exchequer, secretaries of state, law lords and heads of the civil service, debated the key purpose and principles of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill during second reading on 30 and 31 January. The debate took place over two days, which is unusual in the House of Lords.

During second reading, members flagged up concerns and specific areas where they thought work was needed.

There are usually no votes and no changes suggested at this stage. Changes are usually suggested and decided in later stages of the bill: committee, report and third reading. 

Members discussed a number of subjects including the UK union and devolved arrangements, legal continuity for judges and the courts and powers to government ministers.

Reflecting the interest of members in this bill, 187 members took part in the debate, the highest number on record for this stage of a bill in the Lords. These included:

Lord Callanan (Conservative), minister of state in the Department for Exiting the EU, responded on behalf of the government.

Members considered a motion to regret, proposed by Lord Adonis (Labour), regretting that the bill did not allow for the opinion of the people to be secured on the terms of any proposed withdrawal agreement. The motion was withdrawn and there was no division (vote).

Second reading day one: Tuesday 30 January

Members discussed a number of subjects covered by the bill including the impact on devolved administrations, legal certainty and constitutional implications.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill summary

The bill aims to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and incorporate EU law into UK law on the day the UK leaves the EU. It also aims to create temporary powers to make secondary legislation once the UK has left. It also aims to incorporate any withdrawal agreement into UK law. 

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2018 / Photography by Roger Harris

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, European Union, House of Lords news, Lords news, Exiting the European Union

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