Exit day changes (update) (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a UK Statutory Instrument that is commenced)

This post updates a post I wrote a few days ago, of similar title.

Today, the House of Lords agreed (without amendment) the Bill – the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill 2019 – brought by persons other than the Government of Johnson-DUP. This Bill now gains Royal Assent by a matter of course.

The Act (therefore duly enacted) will oblige the Prime Minister to seek to extend the Exit day to 31st January 2020 by letter in the form set out in the Schedule (and to accept immediately any EU agreement to extension – and to accept any other EU proposed extension in two days unless the House of Commons rejects it) –

unless by 19th October Parliament consents to Exit without a deal or it agrees to a new deal with the EU.

The Act will also oblige the Government to make regular reports to Parliament on the progress of negotiations with the EU.

The bill was amended in committee in the House of Commons. The amendment added a statement to the bill setting out that the intention of the request for an extension to article 50 would be to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

This, however, does not create a legal duty to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

The Johnson-DUP administration already has Crown powers (available to it) to suspend Parliament during dates in September and October. It is expected to suspend Parliament on Monday, after a second request of Opposition Parties to dissolve Parliament so that a General Election may be held. Opposition Parties this morning agreed to oppose the Johnson-DUP administration in this request.

The Prime Minister said today that he would not extend the Exit day. The EU appears to signal that it could regard enactment of the Act as a legal request, even if it’s not made by the Prime Minister.

It is also possible a deal is agreed with the EU that is accepted by Parliament, by the 19th October, but this looks remote.

I will next issue a Blog post on the matter of Exit day changes in mid October, on the assumption that (1) Parliament is not dissolved to hold a General Election, and (2) Parliament is suspended until then.

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