Exiting the European Union:Written statement - HLWS1366

WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 12 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Exiting the European Union

My Rt Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made the following statement to the House of Commons:

This is a statement, for the purposes of section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, that political agreement has been reached. I am of the opinion that an agreement in principle has been reached in negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union on the substance of:

  • the arrangements for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, and
  • the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom after withdrawal.

This agreement reflects the result of further discussions with the European Union subsequent to the debate in the House of Commons on the motion under s.13(6) and (11) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on 29 January 2019. This statement therefore supersedes the statement of 26 November 2018 made in my name.

A copy of the draft withdrawal agreement which, in my opinion, reflects the agreement in principle so far as relating to the arrangements for withdrawal, including provisions for the implementation period, has been laid before the House of Commons on Monday 11 March 2019 with the title ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’.

Two additional documents relating to the withdrawal agreement which were not included in the documents laid before Parliament under section 13 on 26 November 2018, have also been laid as annexes to the statement that has been laid before the House of Commons on 11 March 2019. These are:

  • A legally binding joint instrument relating to the draft withdrawal agreement, with the title, ‘Instrument relating to the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’; and
  • A unilateral declaration by the United Kingdom in relation to the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, with the title, ‘Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the Northern Ireland Protocol’.

At this stage, the withdrawal agreement represents a version of the text which has been agreed, but has not yet been formally signed. As set out in my statement of 26 November 2018, the withdrawal agreement laid before Parliament following political agreement being reached in November represented “a version of the text which has been agreed, but has not yet been formally signed. Before this formal signature takes place, the agreement must complete the European Union’s jurist-linguist translation process. During that time, minor technical corrections will be made to the text, though these changes will not affect the substance of the agreement”.

In line with that, the text has since been subject to minor technical corrections for example to correct stylistic or grammatical errors. In addition, it has been put onto the EU’s standard template for international treaties as part of its publication in the EU’s Official Journal which has led to further formatting changes. The Government’s intention is to sign the agreement after it is approved by the House of Commons under section 13(1)(b). The laying of the Withdrawal Agreement before Parliament at this stage does not trigger any procedures under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

A copy of the framework for the future relationship which, in my opinion, reflects the agreement in principle so far as relating to the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom has been laid before the House of Commons on Monday 11 March 2019 with the title ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’.

In addition, a further document which was not included in the documents laid before Parliament under section 13 on 26 November 2018, a supplement to the framework for the future relationship, with the title, ‘Joint statement supplementing the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ has also been laid as an annex to the statement that has been laid before the House of Commons on 11 March 2019.

This statement, and the associated documents, will also be laid before the House of Lords on 12 March 2019.

The documents associated with this statement are also available online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/11-march-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration-laid-before-parliament-following-political-agreement

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