European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20

JUSTICE submitted a briefing to MPs on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20 ahead of House of Commons Committee Stage on 7 January 2020.

JUSTICE takes no view on the UK’s decision to leave the EU. However, we have previously raised concerns about the rights implications of Brexit legislation as well as the resort to delegated powers, loss of reciprocal justice arrangements/procedures and lack of guidance around future interpretation of EU law.

Our new briefing raises four principle areas of concern in relation to the clauses of the current Bill:

  • first, we think the new powers to make regulations permitting lower courts to depart from previous rulings by the European Court of Justice would undermine legal certainty;
  • second, we suggest that (as with the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018), the draft legislation risks a diminution of Parliamentary scrutiny and delegates too much power to the Executive;
  • third, we caution that the removal of Clause 34 and Schedule 4 on Workers’ Rights represents a risk to the preservation of acquired fundamental rights following Brexit; and,
  • fourth, we note potential threats posed by the Bill to the rights of EU nationals hoping to remain in the UK as well as those seeking asylum in the UK.

JUSTICE European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20