Explanatory Notes

Clause 38: Parliamentary sovereignty

337 Clause 38 addresses the relationship between the constitutional principle of Parliamentary sovereignty and the law made applicable by the separation agreements as it would apply in the UK after exit day by virtue of the Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement and Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement. The clause recognises that the application of this law through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill does not constitute a derogation from the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty.

338 Subsection (1) recognises that, as a matter of common law, the Parliament of the United Kingdom is sovereign.

339 As above, clauses 1, 5, 6, and 26 provide for the direct application of the separation agreements in domestic law. Subsection (2) recognises that the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty subsists despite the effect of these clauses.

340 Subsection (3) recognises that, accordingly, nothing in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill derogates from the fundamental principle of Parliamentary sovereignty. This proposition flows from the observations established in subsections (1) and (2).

341 As such, the clause acknowledges the pre-existing legal position as regards Parliamentary sovereignty.


Prepared 19th December 2019