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Brexit:  Thursday 9th January 2020 – where are we now? 

What did the Highgate Cemetery Bill and the Monken Hadley Common Bill have in common?  They were the other pieces of proposed legislation that were before parliament when it stopped for Christmas, alongside their more famous (infamous?) cousin – the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill passed its second reading on the Friday before Christmas just before parliament closed for the festive break.  It does still have some distance to travel before it becomes law, however with a big majority the government won’t be unduly concerned.

The bill is currently at the ‘committee stage’, where amendments can be proposed.  These include one that the Bill should not apply to Scotland, and one that would commit the government to extending the transitional period to two years if a future deal is not agreed by December 2020).  It’s expected that the bill will be passed later tonight and head to the House of Lords next week where it is also expected to pass with ease.  The Bill needs to be given Royal Assent and passed into law by 31st January when the UK will leave the EU at 11 pm.

On 1st February the next, and arguably most challenging, phase begins – that of agreeing a new basis for trade with the EU.

To track the final progress of the Bill you can visit the parliament website here.

 

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