European Union Withdrawal Bill Committee Stage – Day 4 and 5

On Monday 4 December 2017 the fourth day of the Committee of the Whole House for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill took place. A Committee of the Whole House takes place in the House of Commons Chamber and is presided over by the chairman of the Ways and Means committee.

Labour’s amendments sought to ensure the Bill did not side-line the devolved administrations in Cardiff, Edinburgh or Belfast, and result in a power grab for Whitehall.

Other amendments tried to establish collaborative procedures for creating UK-wide frameworks and put Joint Ministerial Committee on a statutory footing.

Wednesday 6 December saw the fifth committee day. Labour tabled amendments that would protect the Good Friday Agreement after the UK leave the EU. This would have ensured an open boarder between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Keir Starmer has said that Labour is prepared to accept the “easy movement” of workers between Britain and the EU in order to secure the benefits of both the single market and customs union after the UK withdraws from the EU. Keir Starmer believes this is the “only way to achieve no hard border in Northern Ireland”.

In a second debate on the financial settlement the UK will pay the EU, Labour’s amendments called for transparency over the settlement.

Another Labour amendment would have prevented delegated powers from being used to levy taxes. These were both voted against by the Conservative Government.

Further Information on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill can be found here.

“A Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.”