The House of Lords completes report stage, a further chance to check the bill and make changes, of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill on Tuesday 8 May.
Members discussed a change (amendment 93) on the future relationship with EU agencies. Members backing it argued the UK should continue to participate in EU agencies after exit day and that relinquishing membership could be damaging to the individuals involved and recipients of their services.
The government highlighted that after Brexit, Parliament and devolved administrations can change law where they need to and this bill does not seek to legislate for any final agreement or future relationship with the EU.
The change went to a vote. Members voted 298 for and 227 against, so the change was made.
Debate turned to a change (amendment 95) removing the 29 March 2019 exit date from the bill. Those in favour said it is unnecessary for the government to fix the date and it should not be specified in case it is necessary to have an extension.
The government argued that the Lords should not seek to restore a matter considered at length by the Commons.
The change went to a vote. Members voted 311 for and 233 against, so the change was made.
Members discussed a change (amendment 110A) on the continued participation in the European Economic Area (EEA). They highlighted that the EEA deals with services like retail, tourism, transport, communications and financial services and emphasised the importance of sustaining services exports after Brexit.
Those against the change said there will be an opportunity to discuss this at the end of the negotiations and the government’s position should not be undermined now.
The government stated that seeking to remain in the EEA would not deliver control of UK borders or laws and, by continuing to implement EU legislation, would undermine the referendum result.
The change went to a vote. Members voted 247 for and 218 against, so the change was made.
Debate turned to a change (amendment 70) regarding parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit statutory instruments. Ministerial power was discussed and members argued this bill is likely to set a precedent for the other Brexit bills to come.
The government stressed its commitment to rigorous scrutiny of secondary legislation that will come from this bill.
The change went to a vote. Members voted 225 for and 194 against, so the change was made.
Third reading, the chance to ‘tidy up’ the bill and make changes, is scheduled for 16 May.
Once Lords stages are complete all changes go to the Commons for consideration.