Brexit Bill enters Committee stage – Parliament website

  • Today (Tuesday 7 January) and tomorrow (Wednesday 8 January), MPs will debate the EU (Withdrawal Agreement Bill) in a Committee of the whole House. The Bill sets out arrangements for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.
  • On 19 December 2019, MPs approved the Second Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill by 358 to 234 votes.
  • The Bill has now entered its committee stage. This will be a Committee of the whole House, which takes place in the main chamber and allows MPs to debate and vote on the Bill in its committee stage.
  • After the committee stage, The Bill will proceed to its Third Reading on Thursday 8 January 2020. It will then begin its Lords stages.

MPs resume scrutiny of PM’s withdrawal deal – BBC

  • Parliament has resumed scrutiny of the legislation needed to implement the prime minister’s Brexit deal.
  • Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would deliver on the “overwhelming mandate” his party had been given by the voters to take the UK out of the EU on 31 January.
  • MPs backed the bill at its first stage in late December.
  • It is expected to comfortably pass its remaining stages in the Commons by Thursday before moving to the Lords.
  • The bill covers “divorce” payments to the EU, citizens’ rights, customs arrangements for Northern Ireland and the proposed 11-month transition period lasting from 1 February to 31 December.
  • Tuesday’s proceedings began with a discussion of the 11-month transition period after 31 January, in which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules and contribute to its budget.
  • The purpose of the transition period is to give time for the UK and EU to negotiate their future relationship.
  • The UK has said this can be done by the end of 2020 and the bill rules out extending the transition period beyond that point – even if a free trade deal with the EU has not been agreed.

UK’s ‘legacy’ reforms up for scrapping under Johnson administration – MLex

  • Planned regulatory reforms and policy initiatives set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s predecessors stand to be scrapped by the new UK government in a drive to reset priorities, it was announced today.
  • Johnson has said his priorities will be “leveling up” growth across the UK’s regions, improving the state health-care system, tackling climate change, addressing street crime and exiting the EU. Projects outside those areas are vulnerable to cancellation.

Don’t expect easy trade talks with the U.S., France warns Britain – Reuters

  • After Boris Johnson’s election win last month, U.S. President Donald Trump said Britain and the United States were now free to strike a “massive” new trade deal after Brexit, which Trump said could be “more lucrative” than any EU deal.
  • But in an interview with Reuters in Paris, French trade minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said a mid-sized power like Britain will find it tough to negotiate alone with the world’s biggest economy.
  • Johnson has set a hard deadline to reach a new trade deal with the EU, betting that the prospect of another Brexit cliff-edge would force Brussels to move more quickly to seal an accord. London also hopes it can get a deal with the United States done before the U.S. presidential election in November.