1.The Constitution Committee is conducting an inquiry on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This follows its report on The ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and delegated powers and its follow-up European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: interim report.
2.The ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and delegated powers report examined the constitutional issues that were likely to arise as a result of legislation repealing the European Communities Act 1972. The Committee noted that the Government faced “a unique challenge in converting the current body of EU law into UK law,” that was “complicated not only by the scale and complexity of the task, but also by the fact that in many areas the final shape of that law will depend on the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU.” The Committee made recommendations about how this task should be approached, particularly in relation to the broad delegated powers the Government was likely to seek and the safeguards and scrutiny processes they should be subject to.
3.The Committee published an interim report in September 2017 examining the Bill by reference to its earlier conclusions and recommendations. The report concluded that “the Bill is highly complex and convoluted in its drafting and structure,” rendering “scrutiny very difficult” and leaving “multiple and fundamental constitutional questions … unanswered.”
4.The Committee is now seeking evidence on the detailed provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and their legal and policy effect. The inquiry will examine the constitutional implications of the Bill across the following three broad themes:
(1)The relationship between Parliament and the Executive
(2)The rule of law and legal certainty
(3)The consequences for the UK’s territorial constitution
5.The Committee would welcome written submissions on any aspect of these topics and from all interested individuals and organisations.