Briefings Parliamentary scrutiny in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill


Parliamentary scrutiny in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill was introduced in the previous Parliamentary session and is expected to be re-introduced if the Conservatives win a majority in the 2019 General Election. The bill ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement and sets out a framework for negotiation of the future UK-EU relationship, including timeframe, scrutiny and ratification.

Clause 31 of the WAB sets out conditions and processes for Parliamentary oversight of the EU-UK Future Relationship negotiations. The scrutiny provisions amend the EU Withdrawal Act to give Parliament significantly more oversight over the EU-UK relationship compared to other trade agreements. Furthermore, these provisions are enshrined in primary legislation, unlike the ratification procedure set out in the Government’s Command Paper of February 2019.

This briefing analyses the scrutiny provisions in the WAB and compares them to TJM's proposed scrutiny processes for trade agreements.