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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European Parliament elections 2019: results and analysis

This briefing paper analyses the results of the 2019 European Parliament elections, focussing on both the UK and EU-wide results. It also analyses the repercussions for the EU, in terms of the balance of forces within the new Parliament and its impact on the forthcoming appointment process for the top jobs in the EU, including the European Commission Presidency. …

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The EU27: Internal Politics and Views on Brexit

The other 27 EU Member States have maintained a largely united front in the Brexit negotiations and in maintaining that the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement should not be re-opened. This paper examines the views of each of the EU27 on Brexit and any contingency planning for a possible no-deal Brexit. It also provides background on their internal politics and trade and economic statistics.…

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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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Brexit delayed again: until 31 October 2019?

The EU has agreed to extend Article 50 a second time. This could delay Brexit until 31 October 2019. This has implications for the UK while it remains in the EU, and could also impact on decisions taken within the EU over the next few months…

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Brexit delayed: the European Council Conclusions on extending Article 50

With a week to go until the UK was due to leave the EU, EU leaders have agreed to delay Brexit. But unless the House of Commons approves the Withdrawal Agreement next week the UK could be faced with a choice between leaving the EU with no deal on 12 April or coming up with an alternative plan that could mean a longer extension and taking part in the European Parliament elections …

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Extending Article 50: could Brexit be delayed?

With the UK due to leave the EU next week and no Withdrawal Agreement as yet approved by the House of Commons, the Government has requested that the EU agree an extension to the Article 50 period in order to delay Brexit. Under what scenarios could an Article 50 extension be agreed with the EU? And could this lead to the UK taking part in the European Parliament elections? …

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The ‘Strasbourg package’

On 11 March 2019 the UK government and the EU agreed a series of ‘interpretations’ and ‘clarifications’ of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration they negotiated in November 2018. What is in the published documents? What are their effects? To what extent do they provide legally binding guarantees? How did they change the Attorney General’s legal opinion of the Withdrawal Agreement?

What was the result of the second ‘meaningful vote’ held in the House of Commons on the updated ‘package’, and what happens next?…

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