European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

 

About the Bill

The UK Government introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on 13 July 2017.  The Explanatory Notes to the Bill state that the Bill performs four main functions1 :

  • Repeals the European Communities Act 1972;
  • Converts EU law as it stands at the moment of exit into domestic law before the UK leaves the EU;
  • Creates power to make secondary legislation, including temporary powers to enable corrections to be made to the laws that would no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU and to implement a withdrawal agreement; and
  • Maintains the current scope of devolved decision making powers in areas currently governed by EU law.

The Committee intends to undertake scrutiny of the Bill including consideration of the expected legislative consent memorandum following the Parliament’s summer recess.  In order to inform the Committee’s evidence taking, the Committee is seeking views on the impact of the Bill upon the devolution settlement and the expected legislative consent memorandum. In particular, the Committee would be interested in hearing views with regard to the following issues—

  • The appropriateness of the powers proposed in the Bill for UK Ministers and Scottish Ministers;
  • The approach proposed in the Bill for repatriating powers which are currently competences of the European Union and the implications of this approach for the devolution settlement in Scotland;
  • Whether there is a need to establish common UK frameworks to replace EU frameworks in devolved policy areas such as agriculture and environment; the appropriateness of the arrangements for these suggested by the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill; and alternative models for discussing, agreeing and operating any common frameworks that may be required; 
  • The suitability of current inter-governmental relations structures for a post-Brexit environment, and alternative processes and structures that may  improve the effectiveness of intergovernmental relations, in light of the process of EU withdrawal and the development of common frameworks;
  • Mechanisms that could be put in place to ensure that the Scottish Parliament has sufficient oversight over the process of negotiating, legislating for and implementing Brexit, and of the exercise of powers conferred on Scottish and UK Ministers by the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.  
     
  • European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, Explanatory Notes, p.5. (721KB pdf)
  • EU withdrawal Bill - call for evidence (64KB pdf)

Written Evidence

The closing date for responses was Friday 29 September 2017.

Written Submissions

We received 16 written submissions during the call for evidence. They have been published on our website. Please read all the Written Submissions.

Please find the Overview of evidence received (210KB pdf)

The Committee published its Interim Report on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill LCM on 9 January 2018

Timetable

Correspondence

Briefings

Legislative Consent Memorandum

Oral evidence sessions 

20 September 2017: The Committee took evidence on legislative consent memorandum LCM (S5) 10 from the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe and Scottish Government officials. Please read the Official Report 20 September 2017 (586KB). You can watch the broadcast of the meeting. 

4 October 2017: The Committee took evidence on legislative consent memorandum LCM (S5) 10 by videoconference from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government and the Director, Constitutional Affairs, Welsh Government. Please read the Official Report 4 October 2017 (374KB). You can watch the broadcast of the meeting.

25 October 2017: The Committee took evidence on legislative consent memorandum LCM (S5) 10 from the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, Royal Town Planning Institute, RSPB Scotland, WWF Scotland, COSLA, University of Dundee, NFU Scotland and Scottish Environment Link. Please read the Official Report 25 October 2017 (448KB). You can watch the broadcast of the meeting.

1 November 2017: The Committee took evidence from Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform, Law Society of Scotland, Professor Jim Gallagher, Research Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford University, Professor Michael Keating, Professor of Politics, University of Aberdeen and Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law, University of Strathclyde. Please read the Official Report 1 November 2017 (447KB).

8 November 2017: The Committee took evidence from David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, Robin Walker, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union. Please read the Official Report 8 November 2017 (480KB).

15 November 2017: The Committee took evidence from Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director, Scottish Centre on European Relations, Professor Alan Page, Professor of Public Law, University of Dundee and Professor Rick Rawlings, Professor of Public Law, UCL. Please read the Official Report 15 November 2017 (445KB pdf)

29 November 2017: The Committee took evidence from Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, Ian Davidson, Deputy Director, Constitution and UK Relations Division, and Luke McBratney, Bill Manager, Constitutional Policy Team, Scottish Government. Please read the Official Report 29 November 2017 (595KB pdf)

Follow up information:

13 December 2017: The Committee considered a draft interim report on the legislative consent memorandum LCM (S5) 10. (in private)

31 January 2018: The Committee will take evidence from Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law, University of Strathclyde and Professor Alan Page, Professor of Public Law, University of Dundee. They will then take evidence from Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe and Scottish Government. Please read the Official Report 31 January 2018.

 

Written Evidence

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