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Fast tracking of Brexit Bill should not set a precedent for other Brexit legislation – Lords Constitution Committee

The House of Lords Constitution Committee has today published its report on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

The Committee says that while its usual concerns about the fast-tracking of legislation are alleviated by the brevity and simplicity of the Bill, this should not be seen as setting a precedent for future constitutional bills. In particular, the report specifically states that the fast tracking of this Bill should not be used “as a precedent in relation to future measures of constitutional significance, such as the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and other Brexit-related legislation.”

Commenting Lord Lang of Monkton, Chairman of the House of Lords Constitution Committee, said:

“The European Union Withdrawal Bill is undeniably of significant constitutional importance. Usually we would be concerned about the fast-tracking of constitutional legislation, particularly when the justification for doing so depends on a political, rather than constitutional, deadline.

“However, we recognise the political imperatives that underlie this Bill. In addition, any concerns we might have about the curtailment of parliamentary scrutiny are mitigated by the fact that the Bill is very short and straight forward.

“We have made clear, however, that this should not set a precedent for future constitutional legislation. The ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and other Brexit-related legislation will be much more complicated, and we would expect that Parliament will have the opportunity fully to scrutinise such important legislation.”

1.    The full report is available on the Committees webpage

2.    The Constitution Committee examines all Public Bills, in this case theEuropean Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, for constitutional implications. The Committee assesses the impact of a Public Bill and, where appropriate, publishes a report on the Bill to inform the House.

3.    The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill   will start Committee Stage in the House of Lords on Monday 27 February.

4.    For further details or to request an interview with Lord Lang please contact Owen Williams on 020 7219 8659.

House of Lords Press Office,

House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW
020 7219 8550



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