The 8th and final day of the committee stage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill took place on December 20th. Voting on this day was divided into 2 parts: impact assessments and the control of ‘exit day’, plus other remaining issues from previous days.
- New Clause 13 (tabled by Labour’s Chris Leslie) – this new clause sought to unilaterally keep the UK as a ‘member’ of the ‘EU customs tariff’ and Common Commercial Policy. The amendment would not have kept the UK in a customs union with the EU. It is not possible to unilaterally achieve ‘membership’ of the EU customs tariff, the Common Commercial Policy or to unilaterally create a new Customs Union with the EU. This can only ever be done as part of negotiations. Labour therefore did not support this amendment, but we do recognise the importance of ensuring our final negotiated relationship with the EU retains the benefits of the Customs Union. This new clause was defeated.
- Amendment 381 & Amendment 399 (tabled by the Government) – these amendments sought to fix exit day for the purposes of the bill to 11.00pm GMT on 29th March 2019. Labour opposed both amendments but the Government won the vote.
- Amendment 349 (tabled by Labour) – this amendment would have prevented the use of delegated powers to create custodial offences. The Government won the vote and defeated the amendment.
- New Clause 44 (tabled by the SNP’s Joanna Cherry) – this new clause sought an independent evaluation of the impact of Brexit on health and social care. Labour supported this amendment but the Government defeated it.
- New Clause 54 (tabled by Conservative Ken Clarke) – this clause sought to secure a transition period prior to the implementation of the withdrawal agreement of not less than two years. Labour supported this amendment but the Government defeated it.
- Amendment 120 (tabled by Liberal Democrats) – this amendment would have called for a second referendum. Labour abstained on this amendment.