1.The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was introduced on 13 July 2017 and received its Second Reading on Monday 11 September. On the same day the membership of this Committee was appointed by the House.
2.At our first meeting, on 13 September, we opened an inquiry into Exiting the European Union: scrutiny of delegated legislation, with an initial focus on the provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.1 In doing so we took up the work of the predecessor committee in the 2015 Parliament: before the House resolved that there should be an early general election, that committee was examining the Government’s proposals for a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ first announced in September 2016.2
3.In this interim report we examine the provision made by the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill for Parliamentary scrutiny of the secondary legislation which the Government proposes to enact under the delegated powers which it is claiming in the Bill. We recommend amendments to the Bill which we consider necessary to ensure adequate scrutiny in this House of the legislation to be proposed by Ministers, and we indicate how such a system might operate.
4.Once both Houses have considered in detail the scrutiny provisions of the Bill we will report again. In that subsequent report we expect to make more detailed recommendations for the changes to rules and practices necessary to establish a system to assess and scrutinise the delegated legislation the Government proposes.
5.The European Scrutiny Committee and the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments—two Parliamentary committees with remits directly concerning the matters we discuss below—were nominated on Monday 30 October. We shall of course consult these committees as we prepare our subsequent report.
6.We received 11 memoranda in the course of the inquiry.3 We took oral evidence from Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, the Hansard Society, the SNP Shadow Leader of the House, Pete Wishart MP, the shadow Leader of the House, Valerie Vaz MP, the shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Rt Hon Keir Starmer QC MP, the Leader of the House, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union, Mr Steve Baker MP. We are grateful to all who have assisted us in this inquiry.
1 The terms of reference relating to this stage of our inquiry are published at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/procedure-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/exiting-eu-scrutiny-delegated-legislation-17-19/
2 The evidence taken in that Committee’s inquiry is available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/procedure-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/delegated-powers-great-repeal-bill-16-17/
The Committee reported on the progress of that inquiry in its Seventh Report of Session 2016–17, Matters for the Procedure Committee in the 2017 Parliament, HC 1091, paras 3–17.
3 The written evidence received is listed on page 23. The oral evidence taken is listed on page 22.
Both are published at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/procedure-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/exiting-eu-scrutiny-delegated-legislation-17-19/publications/
3 November 2017