Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny of UK replacement treaties

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.…

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The UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement

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. …

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Brexit: Proposals for the future UK-EU relationship

The House of Commons has voted on various options for the future UK-EU relationship in the hope that an agreed UK position may help to break the impasse following the Commons’ rejection of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. The Government says it may hold a further Commons vote on future relationship options. What options have been proposed? …

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What if there’s no Brexit deal?

What could happen if the EU and UK negotiators don’t agree a withdrawal agreement in time and the UK has to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without one – and with no framework for future relations either? This paper looks at how such a situation might come about, the constitutional implications for the UK and in some cases for the devolved administrations, and what the impact might be in a range of policy areas.…

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Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill

The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [HL] would create a framework to enable law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to apply to a UK court for an ‘overseas production order’ requiring a person (in practice, generally a communications service provider or ‘CSP’) in a foreign jurisdiction to produce or grant access to electronic data for the purposes of investigating and prosecuting serious crime. An application would only be granted if the judge was satisfied that the data was likely to be of substantial value to the criminal proceedings or investigations for which it was sought, and that it would be in the public interest.

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The Political Declaration on the Framework for Future EU-UK Relations

This paper looks at the Political Declaration on the Framework for the Future Relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which was agreed by EU leaders on 25 November. …

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