Today, Friday 20 December, the newly formed Parliament will begin the process of ratifying the great new deal the Prime Minister negotiated with the EU.
The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill will then complete the remaining stages in both Houses of Parliament and get Royal Assent as soon as possible in the new year, so the UK can leave the EU on time on January 31st.
The new Bill will implement the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, and changes have been made since October to:
- Legally prohibit Government extending the Implementation Period beyond December 31st 2020
- Restore power to UK courts, by giving them the ability to consider ECJ rulings that have been retained in UK law
- Give Parliament greater oversight by requiring ministers to report annually on disputes with the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement
- Repeal spent legislation that now serves no purpose, including the Cooper Act and the Benn Act
Our commitment to continue the highest standards on workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer protections will be honoured by provisions in separate legislation, including the Employment Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
Ahead of the Bill’s introduction, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Today we will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas.
Now MPs will start the process of passing the Bill. Then, at the beginning of the new decade, at the beginning of a new dawn for our country, our parliamentarians will return to Westminster to immediately finish the job, take us out of the EU on 31st January and move this country forward.
After years of delay and rancour in Parliament, we will deliver certainty and hard-working businesses and people across this country will have a firm foundation on which to plan for the future.
Next year will be a great year for our country – the year we get Brexit done, boost NHS funding, invest in infrastructure and level up access to opportunity and prosperity across our great nation.
It will mark the start of a new decade where the United Kingdom will champion trade, innovation and science and meet global challenges with old friends and new across the world.