Explanatory Notes

Clause 30: Certain dispute procedures under withdrawal agreement

311 This clause inserts a new section 13B into the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 that requires a Minister of the Crown to provide Parliament with a written statement where, after the IP, certain formal dispute procedures are used between the UK and EU.

312 Title III of Part 6 of the Withdrawal Agreement provides for a dispute resolution mechanism for most disputes that arise between the UK and the EU after the end of the implementation period. It provides that the UK and the EU must endeavour to resolve disputes by entering into consultation in the Joint Committee. If this is not possible, the dispute may be referred to an independent arbitration panel, comprised of suitable arbitrators. If a dispute submitted to the panel requires an interpretation of EU law (or raises a question of the UK’s compliance with certain obligations), Article 174 of the Withdrawal Agreement requires the panel to request a ruling from the CJEU on the issue.

313 New section 13B requires a Minister of the Crown to inform Parliament of various steps taken in connection with a dispute between the EU and the UK about the interpretation and application of the Withdrawal Agreement.

314 Subsection (1) and (2) provide that where a request is made to the other party to establish an arbitration panel under Article 170 a Minister must within 14 days make a written statement to Parliament setting out the request and the details.

315 Subsection (3) and (4) provides that where the CJEU has given a ruling in response to a request by an arbitration panel under Article 174(1) of the withdrawal agreement, a Minister must within 14 days of the ruling being published in the Official Journal, make a written statement to Parliament setting out details.

316 Subsection (5) provides a Minister must, after the end of each reporting period, lay a report before Parliament detailing the number of times within a reporting period that the Joint Committee has been provided with notice under Article 169(1) to commence consultations to resolve a dispute between the EU and UK on the interpretation and/or application of the Withdrawal Agreement.

317 Subsection (6) defines "reporting period" and the "14 day period".

 

Prepared 19th December 2019