Deal or No Deal



The Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union is here; Joint Statement and outline of the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, as agreed at negotiators' level. Good overview from The Guardian here.

Some of us were glued to the TV on Twitter yesterday but not for Marley Morris at IPPR who by close of play yesterday managed to produce both an initial analysis of the  Withdrawal Agreement AND  his understanding of  the Level Playing Field arrangements re employment and environmental protections. Brilliant and timely resources.

By next week we may be in a very different place but at the moment the possibility of a No Deal remains - and is something the Brexit Civil Society Alliance will be discussing next week. In the meantime (and with thanks to Alison Roche for the heads up) do take a look at this E -petition  relating to leaving the European Union. A debate will be held in Westminster Hall on Monday 19 November at 4.30pm  relating to leaving

Procedure Committee publishes report on the meaningful vote

The Procedure Committee report sets out three potential options for the process for the House of Commons to approve any negotiated withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU.

The Committee has identified three potential models:

The usual practice – set out above – but modified to allow the Speaker to call more than one amendment for decision at the end of the debate

A procedure akin to that for Opposition day debates, where MPs decide on the motion originally tabled before deciding on any amendments

Voting on a series of freestanding and non-binding motions expressing alternative views on the withdrawal agreement, before a vote on the main motion

Read the report here.

Legal Advice

On Tuesday Labour using a humble address got the government to commit that they would reveal the legal advice on the withdrawal agreement  that the attorney general will be drawing up for the government. Liddington told MPs:

“I want to give a commitment to the opposition and the House: we will make available to all Members of the House, following the conclusion of negotiations and ahead of the meaningful vote, a full, reasoned position statement laying out the government’s both political and also legal position on the proposed withdrawal agreement, and that includes any protocols that might be attached.

“In addition, the attorney-general has authorised me to confirm to the House this afternoon that he is ready to assist further by making an oral statement to the House.”

Brexit Club Podcast

Listen to this The Brexit Club podcast with Katy Hayward and Geoff Nuttall. It includes discussing the Withdrawal Agreement – news of which broke as the podcast was being recorded - the importance of parliamentary arithmetic, the DUP, increased community tensions, the absence of a Stormont Executive and the rarely debated benefits of Brexit. Katy from Queen’s University Belfast has become the go-to-expert on all things Brexit and Geoff is head of policy and public affairs at Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. NICVA has already launched a Brexit hub and held a series of related events listen here

Scrutinising SIs

Meanwhile whatever happens the government has to get through hundreds of Statutory Instruments  (SI’s) between now and March 29th next year. The European Union Statutory Instruments Committee held a public engagement event this week to explain more about their work and who to engage with the sifting process.

Key takeaways:

ESIC has just published an engagement tool, available here.

The tool will list all SIs to be considered by the Committee and people are then encouraged to comment on the SI if they have any concerns/ feedback that may be relevant for when ESIC sifts the SI. Note that you have to leave any comments before the 10 sitting day period ends. Comments can be brief and they very much welcome any input from organisations.

When sifting through an SI, the committee considers principally the following:

  • legal issues

  • policy issues

  • whether it is something the House wishes to debate

  • Note that the Committee is also finding issues with SIs that include reciprocity with the EU-i.e whether SIs that propose to take out references to the EU, it is not sure what will be replaced

Don’t forget to check out the Hansard Society’s Brexit Statutory Instrument Dashboard for up to date data no what is happening with Brexit SIs

What we are reading

What I read every day….well its Red Box

And if you can tear yourself away from Twitter and the TV there are interesting events continue to be run by The UK in a Changing Europe

Here is a forthcoming event on immigration:

Given the swirl of politics and the speed of changes we thought it more appropriate to flag up resources and our go-to people on Twitter - which lets face it is the medium of choice during these difficult times. These are just some of the many great commentators out there (and apologies to those we have not listed

For all things constitutional and procedural, law and policy

Jack Simson Caird

David Allen Green

Schona Jolly

General political commentators

Steve Swinford

Laura Kuensberg

Sam Coates Times

Matt Chorley

Tom Newton Dunn

Adam Bienkov

Stephen Bush

Faisal Islam

Jim Pickard

Adam Payne

Adam Fleming

Matt Chorley

Beth Rigby

For all things Irish

Irish Border

Tony Connelly

Katy Hayward

On trade

Sam Lowe

Holger Hestermeyer


NewsletterMalene Bratlie