First Informal Brexit Liaison Group meeting held

22 November 2016

The first meeting of the Informal Brexit Liaison Group, set up by the House of Lords Liaison Committee, was held on Monday 21 November.

The Group has no decision-making power, but has been set up to facilitate discussion and the exchange of information between Committees to assist further discussion in the Liaison Committee and with the Usual Channels. At the first meeting each Committee Chairman present outlined the current work of their Committee and work planned for the near future. This included at least 6 reports on Brexit-related subjects to be published in the week beginning 12 December. For some of the Committees represented the bulk of work would not come into play until the publication of the "Great Repeal Bill" and the expected mass of related statutory instruments. At that stage both the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee and the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee anticipated the need for additional staff resource, although it was too early to estimate what might be needed.
The Group discussed the role of its Chairman and Secretary in facilitating evidence from the Department for Exiting the European Union Ministers and officials, noting that Lord Bridges of Headley had been exceptionally active in discussions with many Committees and their Chairmen. It also noted that the House had agreed that there was to be a full review of investigative Committee activity by the Liaison Committee in session 2017-18, the first for 25 years. It would be for the House as a whole to decide if there was a need for a House of Lords Brexit Committee. In the meantime, the Chairman explained that the Liaison Committee hoped that the Group would help to bring as much coherence as possible to Brexit-related scrutiny by House of Lords Committees.
The Group agreed to meet next on Monday 19 December from 4-5pm.

Further information

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The following Committee Chairmen were present:

Baroness Garden of Frognal represented the Liberal Democrats and the Group was chaired by Lord McFall of Alcuith, Senior Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Liaison Committee. Communications Committee Chairman Lord Best was unable to attend due to a prior engagement.

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