MIL-OSI UK: “We can make Progress,” Prime Minister sets out Brexit next steps

Source: British Parliament News

21 January 2019
Following the Government’s defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’ last week, Prime Minister Theresa May set out the Government’s next steps for the Brexit process.

In her statement, the Prime Minister spoke of conversations since the loss of the ‘meaningful vote’ with the Leaders of other parties and back-benchers across the House of Commons. She criticised Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to participate and called on all MPs to work together to deliver Brexit.
The Prime Minister remained clear that she would not support a second referendum, and that she did not believe there was a majority in the House for one. She also refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit, stating that she remained committed to delivering a deal in advance of Article 50’s expiration on March 29th 2019.
Concluding her statement, Mrs May said she had identified three key changes to which could secure Parliamentary support for a deal. She said firstly that her Government would be more “flexible, open and inclusive” in engaging Parliament in their negotiations with the EU. Secondly they would embed protections on worker rights and environment, and finally that they would work to ensure that the Norther Irish border issue is resolved in a way that both the EU and UK can support.
The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn responded on behalf of his party. He said;

“There is a clear majority in this house to support a deal in principle and to respect the referendum result. But it requires the Prime Minister to face reality and accept her deal has been comprehensively defeated”.

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: Prime Minister announces next steps for EU withdrawal

Source: British House of Commons News

21 January 2019
Following the Government’s defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’ last week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Government’s next steps for the Brexit process.

MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the business motion for the ‘meaningful vote’ which called for the Prime Minister to make a statement three sitting days after any ‘meaningful vote’ was lost. As the vote was lost on Wednesday – and last Friday the House did not sit – today is three sitting days on from the defeat.In her statement, the Prime Minister is expected to lay out how the Government intends to proceed now that the Commons voted against the Withdrawal Agreement last week. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn is expected to respond on behalf of his party.
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: Home Secretary questioned again about citizens’ rights after Brexit

Source: British House Of Lords News

21 January 2019
As part of their follow-up work on citizens’ rights after Brexit, the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee again hears from the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, and Mr Glyn Williams, Director-General of Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System Policy and Strategy Group, Home Office.

Witnesses
Tuesday 22 January in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster
At 2.30pm
The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Home Secretary
Mr Glyn Williams, Director-General of Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System Policy and Strategy Group, Home Office
Background
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is being questioned by members of the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee on Tuesday 22 January in a follow-up session on citizens’ rights post-Brexit.  The Home Secretary gave evidence to the Committee on 21 June 2018 where assurances were given about the UK having a welcoming attitude to EU citizens who live in the UK, and that lessons were being learned from the Windrush scandal.  
This follow-up session will focus on advertising and promotional materials for settled status, process, documentation and trials, eligibility criteria, reciprocal arrangements and no deal preparations. 
Further information

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MIL-OSI UK: Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill: Commons stages

Source: British Parliament News

21 January 2019
MPs are to debate the remaining stages of the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill on Monday 21 January 2019.

Remaining stages
Later today, MPs are to debate the remaining stages of the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill in the House of Commons. Proceedings on the Bill are expected to commence at around 5.30pm, following the statement from the Northern Ireland Secretary on the security situation in Northern Ireland.
Previous stages
Second reading
Stephen Barclay, The Minister for Health and Social Care, moved that the Bill receive a second reading, saying,

“It is clearly in the interests of the British public to ensure reciprocal healthcare arrangements continue when we leave the EU”.

Justin Madders, Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care, responded for the Opposition. He expressed some concerns about specific clauses, but said these would be raised at the committee stage, and broadly welcomed the Bill’s introduction.

“The Opposition welcome any efforts to safeguard healthcare for the estimated 190,000 UK expats living in the EU and the 50 million or so nationals who travel abroad to EEA countries each year.”

The timing of the Bill was also criticized by several MPs, but ultimately it passed on the nod. The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill was then committed to a Public Bill Committee.
Public Bill Committee
The Bill was debated in Committee stage on 27 and 29 of November 2018.
Background
What is the Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill?
At present, the UK is part of a complex EU healthcare system that allows UK citizens to access healthcare while living, working, or visiting the EU, and reciprocates this benefit for EU citizens in the UK. The current system includes healthcare for pensioners, students and migrant workers, as well as funding UK residents to receive treatment unavailable in the UK in other EU countries.
After Brexit, regardless of the deal reached, the government will need to renegotiate reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU, or with individual states. This Bill aims to enable the government to respond to a wide range of options, by giving the Secretary of State new powers.
Broadly speaking these would allow the Secretary of State;
To fund and arrange healthcare outside the UK,
To give effect to healthcare agreements between the UK and other countries, territories or international organisations, such as the European Union (EU),
To make provision in relation to data processing, which is necessary to underpin these arrangements and agreements.
The UK currently has reciprocal healthcare arrangements with several non-EU nations, including Australia and New Zealand, though these are considerably more limited in scope than the current EU deal. This Bill would also enable renegotiation, or strengthening, of existing reciprocal agreements and the negotiation of new ones, outside the EU.
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MIL-OSI UK: Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay MP questioned on Brexit

Source: British Parliament News

18 January 2019
The Lords EU Committee discusses Brexit with Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP.

Witness
Wednesday 23 January in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster
At 4.00pm
Rt Hon. Stephen Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Topics
The Committee will question the Secretary of State on Brexit, with topics including:
Possible changes to the Withdrawal Agreement that was rejected by the Commons on 15 January;
Government ‘no deal’ preparations;
UK engagement with the EU and other 27 Member States;
Government thinking on future UK-EU relations
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Committee concerned about future of Human Rights Act post-Brexit

Source: British Parliament News

18 January 2019
The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee has exchanged correspondence with the Government about clarifying the wording of the Political Declaration regarding the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The EU Justice Sub-Committee wrote to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke in December in the context of its work on citizens’ rights. The Committee sought clarification about a change in wording between the draft and final versions of the Political Declaration regarding the UK’s relationship with European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
The reply from Edward Argar MP, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, was received last week. The Government’s response again pledged an unchanging commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, but it did not explain the reason for the change in wording in the Political Declaration.  The letter ended with a reference to revisiting the Human Rights Act once the process of leaving the EU is concluded, and the Committee is concerned by the lack of assurances about the Government’s commitment to the Human Rights Act post-Brexit.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: This week in the Commons: Friday 18 January 2019

Source: British House of Commons News

18 January 2019
A historic week saw the Government defeated in the ‘meaningful vote’, a no confidence motion fall and the future of Brexit continue to divide the House.

EU Withdrawal debates
‘Meaningful vote’ debates and defeat
Parliament continued to debate the ‘meaningful vote’ on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January following its postponement in December 2018. The vote took place on Tuesday and the Government was defeated, with MPs voting against the deal by 432 to 202, a majority of 230 votes.
No Confidence Motion
Following the Government’s defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’, The Prime Minister indicated that the Government would be willing to schedule time for debate of a no confidence motion on Wednesday 16 January. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, tabled a motion of no confidence in her Majesty’s Government directly afterwards, and the motion was debated for six hours on Wednesday afternoon.
Voting at 7pm, MPs expressed that they had confidence in HM Government, voting against the motion by 325 to 306.
Legislation
Legislation: Private Members Bills
Two Private Members Bills were brought to the house via Ten Minute Rule Motions. 
Urgent questions and ministerial statements
This week in the Commons there were two ministerial statements and one urgent question.
Statements
Urgent questions
Prime Minister’s Questions
On Wednesday 16 January, Prime Minister Theresa May answered MPs’ questions on the Government’s Brexit deal, public sector funding and the Government’s ‘red lines’ on Brexit.
Watch PMQs from this week:
Backbench Business debates
Westminster Hall debates
Debates on a variety of different subjects also took place in Westminster Hall on Monday 14, Tuesday 15, Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 January. See the Parliamentary calendar to find out what subjects were debated.
Select Committees
News from Parliamentary Select Committees, including the publication of reports and details of inquiries and evidence sessions are also available online.
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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates Brexit and the Union

Source: British House Of Lords News

16 January 2019
Members of the Lords, including a constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland and an advisory council member of national debate forum These Islands, will debate the possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom, in the House of Lords on Thursday 17 January.

This is a general debate. They normally take place on a Thursday in the chamber. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by Lord Lisvane (Crossbench), former chief executive of the House of Commons.
Members expected to take part include:
Lord Empey (Ulster Unionist Party), former Lord Mayor of Belfast and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (Labour), Lords opposition spokesperson for exiting the EU and constitutional affairs
Lord Hay of Ballyore (Democratic Unionist Party), president of the Northern Ireland Assembly branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Lord McInnes of Kilwinning (Conservative), constitutional advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland
Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve (Crossbench), member of the advisory council for national debate forum These Islands
Lord Thomas of Gresford (Liberal Democrat), former Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Welsh Affairs
Lord Wigley (Plaid Cymru), former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly for Wales
Lord Young of Cookham (Conservative), Lords spokesperson in the Cabinet Office, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Government rebuked for lack of preparation on Brexit and chemicals

Source: British Parliament News

16 January 2019
The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Committee has written to Defra Minister Thérèse Coffey MP highlighting renewed concerns about the Government’s ill-preparedness to take on the regulation of chemicals and maintain chemical trade after Brexit.

The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry, worth £12.7 billion a year, and in 2017 73% of the UK’s chemical imports came from the EU. On 7 November 2018 the Committee published its Brexit: chemical regulation report, which called on the Government to:
urgently explain how its independent regulatory regime would work;
put forward a more credible plan for collecting information on chemicals;
identify which UK agency will take on the role of chemical regulation; and
enable UK chemical businesses, including SMEs, to take steps to maintain their access to the EU market ahead of exit day.
The Minister responded to the Committee’s findings on 4 January. It is the Committee’s view that although the Government has now developed a more credible approach for collecting information and identified the body that will be in charge of chemical regulation, it appears to have failed on a number of counts, by not taking steps that would have allowed UK chemical businesses to maintain their EU market access, not providing assurance that the database needed to replace the EU chemicals database will be ready in time, and not setting out how chemical risk assessments will take place after Brexit. The Committee is also concerned about the impact on UK manufacturing and businesses of the potential loss of access to thousands of chemicals as a result of Brexit.Lord Teverson, Chair of the Sub-Committee, said:

“Last year we were hugely concerned about the scale of work that needed to be done to maintain adequate chemical regulation in light of Brexit, and frankly the Minister’s response to our report has done little to alleviate our concerns. It seems Brexit could leave us without a functioning and populated UK chemicals database, without an independent and transparent process for risk assessments, and without access to the thousands of chemicals produced by EU-led companies. I hope the Minister can provide further assurances on the measures that are being put in place, otherwise we risk a severe impact on the UK chemical and manufacturing industries, and potentially on human and environmental health.”

The Committee has written to the Minister seeking further details on the Government’s preparations, and has requested a response by the end of January.
Further information
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MIL-OSI UK: Response to the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration: Options for Parliament

Source: British Parliament News

16 January 2019
Exiting the European Union Committee publishes immediate report on next steps for Parliament following rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement. It calls for a series of indicative votes to offer the House an opportunity to try and find an option supported by a majority. MPs should also be able to vote on extending Article 50 if Parliament cannot reach agreement on a way forward before 29 March.

Following the decision of the House overwhelmingly to reject the Prime Minister’s deal, the Exiting the EU Committee is today publishing an immediate report setting out recommendations to the House about potential next steps.
The Government must table a motion by Monday 21 January at the latest on what it proposes to do next.
Chair’s comment
The Committee Chair, Hilary Benn MP, commented:

“The Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by the House of Commons, and we are just 72 days away from 29 March, when the UK is due to leave the European Union.
“The House of Commons needs to see if there is a consensus for a different approach and holding a series of indicative votes as soon as possible will help us to do that.”

Four options identified by the Committee
1. To hold another vote on the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Framework for the Future Relationship.
2. To leave the EU with no deal on 29 March with no agreement on future relations in place in and with no transition/implementation period.
3. To call on the Government to seek to re-negotiate the deal to achieve a specific outcome, be it a variation of the terms of the separation set out in the Withdrawal Agreement or providing clarity about the end state of future relations as set out in the Political Declaration.
The main renegotiation possibilities would be:
a) Seeking changes to the text in the Withdrawal Agreement on the backstop arrangementsb) Seeking a Canada-style deal;c) Seeking to join the EEA through the EFTA pillar and remaining in a customs union with the EU or a variation on this.
4. In addition to these policy choices about the UK’s future relationship, Parliament could decide to hold a second referendum to allow the British people to decide either which kind of Brexit deal they want or whether they wish to remain in the EU.
Today’s short Report of 22 paragraphs sets out the broad options. The Committee plans to expand on these in a more detailed report in the coming weeks.  
Further information
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