European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

About the Bill

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

  • 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 Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee’s role in considering the Bill encompasses the following areas:

  • The Committee will consider whether it is appropriate for powers to be delegated to the Scottish Ministers in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
  • The Committee will consider the breadth of the powers. Are the powers too widely drawn? Could they be expressed in a way that makes it clearer how the powers will be exercised.
  • The Committee considers the correlation between the policy intention as expressed in the Delegated Powers Memorandum and what the Bill enables the Scottish Ministers to do in exercise of the power.
  • The Committee will consider whether the powers are subject to an appropriate level of parliamentary scrutiny.

The Bill and the Delegated Powers Memorandum can be found on the House of Commons web site

Call for Evidence

The Committee issued a call for evidence in relation to the Bill.

The Committee considered the delegated powers in the Bill at introduction that are to be conferred on Scottish Ministers.

The Committee’s call for evidence set out the areas that the Committee is particularly interested in receiving evidence. The Committee was keen to hear views on all aspects of the Bill that are within its remit.

Read the call for written evidence

Read the written evidence received

Legislative Consent Memorandum

A Legislative Consent Memorandum was lodged by the Scottish Government on 12 September 2017. The Memorandum and details of future parliamentary consideration of it can be found here.

SPICe Briefings

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) produced a briefing on the 'European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Implications for Scotland'. Any subsequent briefings of relevance to the Committee's interest in the Bill will be made available as and when they are published. 

Evidence and Timetable

The Committee took oral evidence on the Bill during September and October. The Official Reports of meetings where evidence was heard can be found on our Meeting Papers and Official Reports page.



The Committee published its report on the Legislative Consent Memorandum relating to the Bill on 17 November 2017. Read the report here.

The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's report. That response is below:

The report refers to the Bill at introduction in the House of Commons. The Committee expects that the Bill will be subject to amendments and accordingly would expect to produce future reports on legislative consent in relation to the Bill.


The Finance and Constitution Committee is leading on policy consideration of the Bill. Details of their work on the Bill can be found here

The Interparliamentary Forum on Brexit met in Westminster on 12 October 2017. The Scottish Parliament issued a press release on 13 October 2017.

Read the Press Release