Seema Malhotra MP has an article in The Observer this morning to explain how she thinks the UK should move forward on Brexit.
The article explains the thinking behind her amendment to the EU withdrawal bill. It specifies the steps the government must take if there is no withdrawal agreement or if a withdrawal agreement is not approved by Parliament by 28 February 2019. Seema commented: "Enshrining the vote of the UK parliament in statute is a first and vital step. The farce of the sectoral analyses and the impression it leaves of a government hiding from transparency and scrutiny is damaging the government and affecting the work of parliament. May’s big test is whether she can rise above her own party’s politics and show she can lead the nation in navigating the big changes ahead."
To move the following Clause—
“United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU
(1) Subsection (2) applies if either of the conditions in subsection (3) or (4) is met.
(2) The Prime Minister must seek an agreement with the EU on one or more of the following—
(a) extending the negotiations beyond the two-year period specified in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union; or
(b) agreeing that negotiations over the final terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU may take place during a negotiated transitional arrangement which broadly reflect current arrangements and which begins immediately after the Article 50 notice period expires and the EU treaties cease to apply to the UK; or
(c) any other course of action in relation to the negotiations (with the EU over the withdrawal of the United Kingdom) which has been approved in accordance with this section by a resolution of the House of Commons.
(3) The condition in this subsection is that no Article 50 withdrawal agreement has been reached between the United Kingdom and the EU by 31 October 2018.
(4) The condition in this subsection is that an Article 50 withdrawal agreement has been reached between the United Kingdom and the EU but the proposed terms of withdrawal have not been approved by resolutions of both Houses of Parliament by 28 February 2019.
(5) Nothing in this section may be amended by regulations made under any provision of this Act.”
Member’s explanatory statement
The intention of this new clause, which could be amended only by primary legislation, is to specify the actions that should be taken if the Government does not secure a withdrawal agreement by 31 Oct 2018 or that Parliament does not approve a withdrawal agreement by 28 February 2019.