Tuesday, 29 December 2020

The European Union (Future Relationship) Bill ... (from 31.1220 Act)

Updated 26 January ...

The draft European Union (Future Relationship) Bill has been published and see Bills before Parliament.

The Bill has 40 clauses - Part 1 Security (Clauses 1 to 13) - Part 2 Trade and other matters (Clauses 14 to 28) - Part 3 General Implementation (Clauses 29 to 36 - Part 4 Supplementary and Final Provision (Clauses 37 to 40).  There are 6 Schedules.

Clause 29 (General Implementation) is particularly interesting legally because it aims to modify existing domestic laws for the purpose of implementing the Trade and Cooperation Agreement or the Security of Classified Information Agreement.  This clause is likely to raise considerable legal debate and has the potential to give rise to litigation

29(1) states - "Existing  domestic  law  has  effect  on  and  after  the  relevant  day  with  such modifications as are required for the purposes of implementing in that law the Trade  and  Cooperation  Agreement or the Security of Classified Information Agreement so far as the agreement concerned is not otherwise so implemented and so far as such implementation is necessary for the purposes of complying with the international obligations of the United Kingdom under the agreement." 

29(2) - Places some limitations on Clause 29(1) including the point that references to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement or the Security of Classified Information Agreement are references to the agreement concerned as it has effect on the relevant day.  Clause 29 is likely to be of concern since it has the potential to create legal uncertainty since existing law has to be read subject to the agreements which are themselves lacking in clarity in some respects.

Extensive powers to make Regulations are set out in Clauses 31 to 33. These include "Henry VIII" clauses - see Clause 31(2), 32(2) and 33(4).

Clause 36 disapplies section 20 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 in respect of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, or the Security of Classified Information Agreement but this does not affect whether that section applies in relation to any treaty which modifies or supplements the agreement concerned.

The House of Commons will consider the Bill on 30th December - see House of Commons Recall of Parliament. The House of Lords will also sit - see HERE. It looks set to be a long day given that the Bill has to become law (i.e. receive Royal Assent) by the end of the sitting. If the Bill does not get through Parliament then the agreements will not take effect.

The Hansard Society has published - Expediting of the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill through Parliament: five issues

Update 30 December:

Debates will be held in the Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Parliament (Senedd) - see, respectively, MSPs recalled to Holyrood to debate Brexit dealNorthern Ireland Assembly to debate EU-UK Trade dealSenedd Recall Wednesday 30 December

UK Parliament - Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU - The UK-EU furure relatonship: the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (pdf)

The Hansard Society has published - Expediting of the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill through Parliament: five issues

Hansard Society - Parliament's role in scrutinising the UK-EU Trade and Cooperationa Agreement is a farce

Update 31 December 2020:

30 December saw Parliament recalled and the Bill passed through all stages in both Houses and received Royal Assent.

Hansard House of Commons 30 December. At the Second Reading debate the Bill passed by 521 votes to 73.

Hansard House of Lords 30 December

Update 1 January 2021:

European Union (Future Relatonship) Act 2020 - the Act was mostly brought into force at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 ("IP Completion Day") by The European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2020 - (SI: 2020/1662). Sections 21, 27 and 34 come into force on 1 March 2021. 

Update 26 January 2021:

EU Relations Law - for articles offering explanation of the Future Relatonship Act. 

EU Relations Law - Cambridge webinar on the TCA and EU Future Relationship Act

EU Relations Law - Jack Williams of Monckton Chambers - Relevant Relatonship Agreement Law: a guide for the perplexed

No comments:

Post a Comment