Spring Budget 2020 was presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Parliament on 11 March. Once the Chancellor sat down the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published updated forecasts in its Economic and fiscal outlook.
The UK and EU begin negotiations over their future relationship this week. This paper outlines the UK and EU's objectives, the main issues of contention and the process being followed in the negotiations
The UK and EU agreed a revised Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship on 17 October. This Briefing provides an outline of the contents of the Declaration and the key changes in the revised text
Boris Johnson's Government have negotiated a new 'deal' with the European Union. It is formed of a Political Declaration and a Withdrawal Agreement. This paper focuses on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it compares to the one negotiated by Theresa May's Government in November 2018.
The main differences are in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland or the 'backstop' as it is commonly known. It contains very different arrangements, the UK will no longer be in a single customs territory or union with the EU. The UK will no longer be legally bound to continue with level playing field commitments at the end of the transition period.
Northern Ireland will still be in the UK's customs territory and VAT area, however, the region will align with the EU's rules in these areas. Northern Ireland will remain mostly aligned to the EU's regulations for goods. Four years after the end of the transition period Northern Ireland's democratic institutions will vote on whether they wish to continue the arrangements in the Protocol.
MPs will debate e-petition 266638 relating to deforestation in the Amazon on 7 October in Westminster Hall. This House of Commons Library debate pack provides some background information and press and parliamentary coverage of the issue.
We don't know what the future relationship between the UK and the EU will be. It has been suggested that an Association Agreement might be appropriate because it is a fairly flexible kind of agreement and can include a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. But an Association Agreement also requires a degree of legislative approximation of the third country with the laws of the EU, and it isn't clear whether the UK Government would find this acceptable. This paper looks at the scope and contents of some existing Association Agreements.
The UK is party to hundreds of international treaties with third states or organisations, many of them on trade, by virtue of its EU membership. To continue to benefit from the advantages of these agreements, the Government has been seeking to replace them in a UK bilateral context. The Government has prioritised trade agreements, but has also agreed replacement agreements covering aviation services and safety, and road transport, for example. But Parliament is not happy about the way the Government is carrying out this 'treaty continuity programme' and Committees in both Houses have called for a greater scrutiny role for Parliament in treaty-making processes. This paper looks at what has been going on and what Parliamentary Committees in both Houses have asked for. It includes a table showing where we are with scrutiny of these treaties and what sort of scrutiny they have undergone, both in their precursor form as EU treaties and currently as replacement treaties.
This briefing looks in detail at the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and UK and finalised on 14 November 2018. It was endorsed by EU Member State leaders at a special European Council summit on 25 November and the UK Prime Minister promoted it in the UK Parliament and around the country. The Agreement was debated at length in Parliament on several occasions and has been voted on three times. But the House of Commons has not endorsed it. A second extension of Article 50 took exit day to 31 October 2019, but once again the UK is faced with the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement if this agreement or another one is not ratified by the UK and the EU.