MIL-OSI UK: EU assurances on Brexit: Prime Minister makes statement

Source: British Parliament News

14 January 2019
Speaking to the House of Commons ahead of day four of the ‘meaningful vote’ debate, the Prime Minister gave a statement about letters from the European Union offering assurances relating to the proposed Northern Irish backstop.

In the opening to her statement, the Prime Minister laid out the assurances she has received from the European Union. She stated that she has secured a UK-wide temporary customs arrangement, avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, and a customs border down the Irish sea.
Additionally, the Government has negotiated substantial commitments in the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration to do everything possible to ensure the backstop will never be needed. In the event that the backstop was ever triggered, the Prime Minister assured the House it would only apply temporarily. 
The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, responded to the statement, referring to the Prime Minister’s deferral of the vote on her deal in December 2018 as “shameful”. He went on to say that the Prime Minister was representing “exactly the same position” as the one that was deferred a month ago.
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debate report on possibility of post-Brexit UK-EU security treaty

Source: British Parliament News

14 January 2019
On Wednesday 16 January 2019, the House of Lords will debate the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee’s report on Brexit: the proposed UK-EU security treaty.

Background
The Committee’s report, published on 11 July 2018, examines the feasibility of the Government’s ambition to negotiate a single, comprehensive security treaty with the EU. The Committee called on the Government and the EU to make pragmatic compromises on security matters to achieve the over-riding objective of protecting the safety of UK and EU citizens after Brexit. Among other things, the report concluded that insufficient progress has been made in negotiating a comprehensive security treaty, an abrupt end to cooperation in March 2019 would seriously undermine the security of the UK and EU, and that serious difficulties are posed by the constitutional restrictions of some Member States on the extradition of their own nationals.
The Government’s response was received in September 2018. Although the Government gave full consideration to the majority of the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations, there were still outstanding areas of concern. The Committee wrote to Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, in November 2018 seeking clarification on the Government’s ambition to reach a single security agreement relatively quickly and on its preparations for what could be an operational cliff-edge at the end of the transition period.
Speakers
The debate is being moved by Lord Jay of Ewelme and Baroness Williams of Trafford will respond on behalf of the Government. Speakers will include Lord Browne of Ladyton, Baroness Ludford and Lord Ricketts.
Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed on the Government Whips’ Office Speakers’ Lists.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debate Committee’s report on consumer protection after Brexit

Source: British House Of Lords News

10 January 2019
On Wednesday 16 January the House of Lords debates the European Union Committee’s report, Brexit: will consumers be protected? which was published on 19 December 2017.

The report called on the Government to explain exactly how it intends to ensure that UK citizens’ consumer rights will be protected and enforced after the UK leaves the European Union. The Committee argued that mirroring the rights we currently have in EU law (via the EU Withdrawal Act) is not on its own enough. The report also called on the Government to share its plan for how it intended to maintain the UK’s access to the many EU based agencies and networks that contribute to the protection of consumers’ rights.
The Government’s disappointing response was received in February last year, and this debate is the Committee’s first opportunity to discuss these issues with the Government.
The debate is being moved by Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws. Speakers include Lord Bilimoria, Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, Lord Henley and The Earl of  Kinnoull.
Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed on the Government Whips’ Office Speakers’ Lists.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates developments in Western Balkans

Source: British House Of Lords News

09 January 2019
Members of the Lords, including a former member of the UN Secretary-General High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and a former senior special adviser to the Foreign Secretary, will debate developments in the Western Balkans and the threat posed by instability and insecurity in that region, in the House of Lords on Thursday 10 January.

This is a general debate. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
This debate will take place in the Moses Room, a room outside the Lords chamber used to host extra work. Any member can attend and participate, as with debates in the Lords chamber.
The debate was proposed by Baroness Helic (Conservative), former senior special adviser to the Foreign Secretary
Members expected to take part include:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Conservative), former minister of state for the Commonwealth and the UN in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lord Browne of Ladyton (Labour), director VERTIC, support organisation for effective verification of international agreements
Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Crossbench), former member of the UN Secretary-General High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change
Earl of Sandwich (Crossbench), adviser to humanitarian aid organisation CARE International
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative), minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: ‘Meaningful vote’ on Brexit resumes in the Commons

Source: British House of Commons News

09 January 2019
The House of Commons will resume the debate on the EU Withdrawal Agreement on Wednesday 9 January 2019.  There will be a total of 5 days of debate, ending with a ‘meaningful vote’ on Tuesday 15 January 2019. 

Day one: Wednesday 9 January 2019
MPs will resume the ‘meaningful vote’ debate today, following the Government’s decision’s to defer the vote on Monday 10 December 2018. The Prime Minister informed the House of this in a statement to the Commons where she acknowledged “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin.”
The first thing to be debated today will be on a Business of the House Motion which sets aside eight hours of debate on five days, leading to a ‘meaningful vote’ and amendments at the end of the day on Tuesday 15 January 2019. The debates are scheduled for Wednesday 9, Thursday 10, Friday 10, Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January 2019. Today’s debate is expected to commence at around 1pm following a Ten Minute Rule Motion on the armed forces.
Motion for debate:

SECTION 13(1)(B) OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018: ADJOURNED DEBATE ON QUESTION [6 DECEMBER]Up to eight hours after the start of proceedings on the Business of the House (Section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) (No.2) motion, if the Business of the House motion is agreed to.
The Prime Minister
That this House approves for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the negotiated withdrawal agreement laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’ and the framework for the future relationship laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’.

What is the ‘meaningful vote’?
The ‘meaningful vote’ is the House of Common’s decision on the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Following months of negotiations by the UK Government and European Union, a withdrawal agreement has been agreed in principle. This agreement sets out the arrangements for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from the European Atomic Energy Community.
A future framework outlining the future relationship between the UK and the EU has also been negotiated. 
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.
The Library has published the following papers relating to the ‘meaningful vote’ debates.
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MIL-OSI UK: Opposition demand answers after Seaborne Freight contract

Source: British Parliament News

08 January 2019
Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, asked the Government to provide details on the recently awarded contract to Seaborne Freight as part of its no-deal contingency planning.

This follows criticism faced by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, after his department awarded a £14million contract to run cross-Channel ferries to Seaborne Freight, who do not currently own any ships and have never previously supplied a ferry service.
The Transport Secretary stated that a procurement exercise had taken place to secure additional ferry capacity in the event of no-deal. Three operators were awarded contracts: Brittany Ferries, DFDS and a third smaller contract to Seaborne Freight. Chris Grayling said that no money would be paid to these companies unless they are operating ferries.
Andy McDonald responded on behalf of the opposition, saying the £14million contract had been awarded “…to a company with no money, no ships, no track record, no employees, no ports, one telephone line and no working website or sailing schedule”.
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords examines Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill

Source: British Parliament News

07 January 2019
The Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill will have its committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, in the Lords on Tuesday 8 January.

Members are expected to discuss a range of subjects, including:
limiting the new regulations to ensure there are no changes in government policy other than to reflect the UK’s status as a non-EU member
ensuring the competitiveness of UK financial markets is not affected by EU withdrawal
requiring HM Treasury to begin reporting on the use of its powers by October 2019 and every six months thereafter.
Baroness McDonagh (Labour) has laid a motion against the debate, recommending that committee stage of the bill be postponed until after the scheduled date for the Lords committee stage of the Trade Bill has been published in the House of Lords Business Paper.
Lords second reading: Tuesday 4 December
Members discussed a range of issues raised by the bill, including restrictions within the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on the use of delegated legislation, the accurate number of ‘in flight’ pieces of EU legislation and shortening the bill’s regulatory period following a ‘no deal’ scenario down from the current twelve-month proposal.
Lord Bates (Conservative), minister of state in the Department for International Development, responded on behalf of the government.
Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill summary
This bill will aim to provide the government with powers to implement and make changes to ‘in flight’ files of EU financial services legislation. The powers will last for two years after UK withdrawal from the EU, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ scenario.
‘In flight’ refers to pieces of EU legislation that:
have been adopted by the EU but not yet enacted, and so would not apply under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
are currently in negotiation and may be adopted up to two years following EU withdrawal
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Opposition ask for update on EU Withdrawal Agreement

Source: British Parliament News

07 January 2019
The official Opposition, asked the Prime Minister for a statement on progress made in achieving legal changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement and the timetable for a meaningful vote in the House of Commons.

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Stephen Barclay MP, responded on behalf on the Prime Minister, stating that there would be a business motion on Wednesday 9 January followed by main debate on the EU Withdrawal Agreement. The date of the vote and the length of the debate will depend on the business motion.
Barclay stated that the PM was in contact with EU leaders over the Christmas recess and that the House would be updated on progress at the start of the debate on Wednesday.
Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn said:

“This issue will define Britain’s future and should not be decided by the internal machinations of the Conservative party”

He also asked what legal assurances have been given by EU leaders and asked for clarification on what the Prime Minister is requesting from the EU.
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
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MIL-OSI UK: Ministers quizzed on ‘no deal’ energy and environment plans

Source: British Parliament News

20 December 2018
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is continuing its scrutiny of the Government’s preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

The Committee has been corresponding with Defra Minister Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and BEIS Minister Rt Hon Claire Perry MP regarding their preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit in relation to environment, energy and climate change, and considered their latest replies on 19 December.The Committee thanked Defra Minister Michael Gove MP for the information he provided in his last letter, and requested clarification on issues relating to the export of animals to the EU, fishing quotas, waste exports, veterinary capacity and the progress of statutory instruments. Members raised particular concerns regarding contingency planning for managing waste that cannot be exported in a ‘no deal’ scenario.In its letter to BEIS Minister Claire Perry MP, the Committee welcomes progress regarding energy research and ‘no deal’ statutory instruments related to the Integrated Single Energy Market on the island of Ireland, but notes disappointment that more action has not been taken in other areas. It also asks for more detail on the Carbon Emissions Tax, intended to replace the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Emergency debate on UK-EU Brexit negotiations

Source: British Parliament News

18 December 2018
MPs are to hold an emergency debate on the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU.

Following an application from SNP Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford, the Speaker has granted an emergency debate on the current UK-EU Brexit negotiations. 
Today’s debate is expected to start at around 2.15pm, following today’s statements and urgent questions.
Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
Application for debate
The House of Commons agreed to an application for an emergency debate, made by SNP Westminster Leader, on Monday 17 December 2018. Whilst making his application, the SNP Leader stated that,

“Given the historic nature of UK politics at this moment, I am grateful that you have given this opportunity for an emergency debate on a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely, that this House should consider the outcomes of the Prime Minister’s recent discussions with the European Commission and the European Heads of Government regarding the withdrawal agreement and potential ways forward.
This Government have been found in contempt of Parliament, yet still the Prime Minister has failed to show any due respect to this place. This House voted to secure a meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and the Government agreed to bring that forward last week, yet they have pulled it. They are breaking their promises and showing utter contempt for Parliament and for the constituents whom we represent. The Prime Minister is running around like a headless chicken, going to Europe with the begging bowl and grasping at straws to find a way to appease the hard-right Brexiteers on her own Benches. Europe is not budging and the Prime Minister’s deal is dead. The game is over and the Prime Minister must admit so.”

Emergency debates
An emergency debate is a debate called at short notice in the House of Commons on a matter that should have urgent consideration. An MP may apply to the Speaker for an emergency debate under the rules of Standing Order No. 24.
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