New Clause 11, EU Withdrawal Bill

Thank you for your recent email about new Clause 11 which is being put down to the Report Stage of the Withdrawal Bill.

I do not think that the new Clause 11 is a sensible or desirable way of amending the Withdrawal Bill.

Parliament voted by a huge majority to trigger Article 50 in accordance with the mandate given by the referendum. The Article 50 process will now lead to Britain exiting the EU at 2300 on 29th March 2019 unless an extension to that timetable is mutually agreed. This process is unaffected by the Withdrawal Bill. The purpose of the Withdrawal Bill is just to make sure that EU law continues to be part of UK law once we leave, unless and until Parliament specifically decides to amend any of it.

The Government has already committed to having a Parliamentary vote on the terms of any agreement that is reached with the EU about our future relationship once we have left. That will be a meaningful and indeed decisive vote – since the Government will not be able to sign up to any such agreement unless Parliament votes to allow it to do so.