UK must still debate EU issues up until Brexit

07 April 2017

The European Scrutiny Committee report says that the Government must continue to consider EU proposals over the next two years, even though the UK is about to leave the EU.

Negotiating Brexit

In negotiating Brexit, the UK Government needs to be alert to the negotiations on current and ongoing European business; it cannot start from the assumption that EU policy and legal frameworks are fixed.

The Committee is concerned that departments may not be dealing with existing dossiers competently in parallel with the Brexit negotiations.

The Government should be more alert to the connection between the two, since looking at proposals for EU legislation from a Brexit perspective highlights the issues that will arise more generally in disentangling the UK from the EU. Ministers need to continue to pay close attention to these matters.

Chair's comment

The Government should be more open about its attitude in negotiations. Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, Bill Cash MP says:

"The Government should come to a clear view on where the national interest lies in relation to each dossier, and ensuring that view is communicated to UKREP and to our European counterparties. The Government may consider that there will be occasions when it feels it should vote against proposals it considers to be against the national interest, rather than allowing agreement by consensus. If it does vote against a proposal, it should make sure its reasons for doing so are put on record in a minute statement."

The report states that it is imperative that debates on European Union Documents within the Commons are scheduled in good time, so that the House can make its views known in an effective way.

The process of exiting the EU should reaffirm the sovereignty of Parliament, not bypass it.

Further information

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More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, European Union, International affairs, Europe, House of Commons news, Commons news, Committee news, Exiting the European Union

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