This week the House of Lords acted decisively and courageously to amend the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to require proposals to protect the future of EU nationals resident in the UK when notification is given.
On Tuesday, 7th March, they will have the opportunity to do so again during the Bill’s Report Stage debate. That will be when the ‘parliamentary approval’ amendment (see page 2) we are backing will be debated.
All peers were sent our amendment briefing electronically, and over 100 with a special interest in EU and constitutional issues were also sent hard copies. There has been a high level of interest in the briefing, including from those who used it and the Three Knights Opinion (commissioned by the People’s Challenge) in their speeches, and many have kindly contacted us to say how useful the information is.
“The “Three Knights” legal opinion, commissioned by the People’s Challenge campaigners, allied to Gina Miller’s Supreme Court case on Article 50, is clear that the government does not have the legal authority to leave the EU without a new Act of Parliament.
So when the Lords vote next week, they will have not only sense but the law on their side. That should make them brave enough to send a very strong message and, if necessary, to repeat it.”
The Bill is now sure to go back to the Commons. We are very hopeful that when it does, it will contain the parliamentary approval clause which will make Parliament’s future role explicit. There will then be a final battle in the Commons to make sure the amendment stays in place.
In the meantime, we plan on sending out a further briefing to those peers who have already supported amending the Bill.
If you personally want to encourage peers to consider voting for the parliamentary approval amendment, then do take action now by e-mailing them, telling them why embedding Parliament’s right to make final decisions on withdrawal and any future agreement with the EU is so important, and encouraging them to read our amendment briefing if they have not already done so. You can find peers’ e-mail addresses here.
Thank you for your backing which makes it possible for us to support peers with an interest in fighting for parliamentary sovereignty. We will post a further update once the outcome of the Report Stage debate is known.