European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill returns to the Lords

23 January 2020

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill returned to the House of Lords on Wednesday 22 January for consideration of Commons amendments.

Members discussed (amendments) relating to the:

  • residency rights of EU citizens in the UK
  • restriction on the UK Parliament to legislate for devolved matters without the consent of the devolved legislatures (the Sewel Convention)
  • powers of ministers to decide which courts and tribunals can depart from Court of Justice of the European Union judgments
  • jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to depart from EU case law in making decisions
  • continuation of the refugee children and family reunification provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Members agreed to all the Commons amendments without a division (vote).

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the bill it received Royal Assent on 23 January. Royal Assent is the monarch's agreement to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).

Previous stages

Lords third reading: Tuesday 21 January

Members discussed the progress of the bill at its conclusion of Lords stages.

Following the completion of third reading, the bill passed to the House of Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

Lords report stage day two: Tuesday 21 January

Members discussed the involvement of the devolved administrations in discussions regarding the UK's future relationship with the EU. They also discussed arrangements for unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

Votes (divisions) took place on two proposed changes (amendments).

The first (amendment 18) would ensure the continuation of the refugee children and family reunification provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Members voted 300 in favour and 220 against, so the change was made.

The second (amendment 20) regards taking note of the Sewel Convention, which ensures that UK Parliament may not legislate for devolved matters without the consent of the devolved legislature. Members voted 239 in favour and 235 against, so the change was made.

Lords report stage day one: Monday 20 January

Members discussed topics including providing proof of status for EU citizens residing in the UK, future relationship negotiations with the EU and the UK's participation in the Erasmus programme.

Votes (divisions) took place on three proposed changes (amendments).

The first (amendment 1) regards rights related to residence of EU citizens. Members voted 269 in favour and 229 against, so the change was made.

The second (amendment 12) removes the powers of ministers to decide which courts and tribunals can depart from judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Members voted 241 in favour and 205 voted against, so the change was made.

The third (amendment 14) relates to supreme court decisions to depart from EU case law. Members voted 206 members in favour and 186 voted against, so the change was made. 

Lords committee stage day three: Thursday 16 January

Members discussed to discuss a range of subjects, including the rights of UK citizens resident in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, the continued membership of the Erasmus+ education programmes and maintaining smooth transport links between the UK and the EU.

Lords committee stage day two: Wednesday 15 January

Members discussed a number of subjects, including the economic and security impacts on the devolved administrations, environmental and animal welfare matters and the power of the courts and tribunals to depart from judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU.

Lords committee stage day one: Tuesday 14 January

Members discussed a range of subjects, including the residency rights of EU citizens and the UK's future relationship with the EU.

Lords second reading: Monday 13 January

Members debated the key areas of the bill during second reading on Monday 13 January. Members taking part included the opposition spokesperson for exiting the EU and leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords.

Members discussed a range of topics including, parliamentary powers, protection of child refugees and UK's future relationship with the EU.

Lord Barwell (Conservative) and Lord Mann (Non-affiliated) gave their maiden speeches.

Lord Callanan (Conservative), Minister for Exiting the European Union, opened the debate on the bill and responded on behalf of the government.

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

This bill aims to implement the agreement between the UK and the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, which sets out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Further information

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