European Union (Withdrawal Bill) Amendments
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and the Scottish
Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) are requesting that
Welsh and Scottish MPs give their backing to the cross-party
tabling of amendments from the Welsh and Scottish Governments'.
Download the briefing - European Union (Withdrawal
Bill) Amendments - A Welsh and Scottish Third Sector
On the 26th October the Repeal Bill Alliance, in partnership
with WCVA, hosted a roundtable to discuss the EU (Withdrawal) Bill
and the potential scope and implications for the third sector in
Wales. Lots was discussed and Jane Thomas, Repeal Bill Alliance
Co-ordinator, put together the top 5 things Welsh organisations
should know about the Bill.
1. Action on amending the bill is urgent - whether your
organisation is big or small, and no matter what sector you work
in, from higher education through to womens' rights, if the bill
goes through unamended it will affect you, your members, or service
users, in some way.
2. For people in Wales the bill, as currently drafted, places a
new and significant constraint on the devolution settlement,
undermining hard fought for rights and responsibilities and
shifts power firmly back to Westminster.
3. It is a complex bill and the swirl of politics around it is
not helping to make anything any more understandable. What
organisations and individuals need is an understandable and
accessible guide to the bill - and some sort of route map of
4. Lobbying has been effective but the pace of political
developments means it is hard to keep up for nearly
everyone. Timing is everything, knowledge is power - the
more we can use our networks to keep people informed and
engaged the better.
5. BUT, it's not too late to act - and if civil society
comes together we can make our voices heard. That's what the
Alliance is here to do - provide information, networks and
resources. Step number one: sign up to the Alliance's mailing list for
regular E:Bulletins on the bill, and resources for your
organisation (a campaign toolkit is coming soon!)
the briefing - Repeal Bill in Wales.
The EU Withdrawal Bill - Committee stage
So finally we now have some dates for the start of the Committee
stage and where the bones of this bill will be picked over. This
rather lengthy Q and A bulletin is an attempt to explain what now
happens and what procedures and processes are in place. It is,
rather like the bill itself, a little complicated but hopefully it
will help. However, if it throws up more questions please feel free
to contact Jane Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org.
When does the Committee Stage start?
Day 1 in Committee (relating Clauses 1 and 6) on Tuesday 14
Day 2 in Committee (relating to Clauses 2, 3 and 4) on Wednesday
As yet the other 6 days in Committee or the 2 later days on
Report/Third Reading have not been timetabled.
How do I find the amendments that have been laid so
You can check every other day, or every day if you are keen or
want to have your mind boggled, to see what's new. There is however
a sense that the majority have now been laid.
New Clauses NC64 to NC67 tabled by the Opposition and Amendments
335 to 350, highlighted in yellow.
Geraint Davies has tabled new Clause NC68 on approval by
Parliament of terms of withdrawal (see also the Opposition New
Clause NC66 on page 81, "Parliamentary approval for the outcome of
negotiations with the European Union").
Nearer to the start of the Committee Stage, there are also
expected to be a large number of amendments from the Government,
taking on board some of the criticisms made by Tory rebels and
proposing compromises in order to avoid defeats in Committee.
Who and how are amendments selected?
The number of amendments or new clauses now stands at over 400.
You dont have to have a maths degree to work out that debating all
of these in just 8 days is impossible. Plus MPs face the prospect
of long days (and nights) in the Chamber so the Whips will have to
make sure no one "pops out" and just does a runner. With no pairing
the Whips job is going to be unenviable, especially with the cross
party collusion that is now evident over certain key amendments.
Plus just the physical act of voting is in itself time consuming
(using the technology enabling voting at your seat has escaped this
mother of all parliaments).
So amendments will have to be pruned.They will either get dropped,
withdrawn or in some cases taken together. This task is for the
Chairman of Ways and Means (Mr Lindsay Hoyle) who no doubt will be
assisted by the clerks.
It is Standing Order No 32(2) that lays out
Chairman of Ways and Means will select New Clauses and
Amendments for debate. The decision of the Chairman of Ways and
Means is final on:
• Selection of New Clauses and Amendments for debate;
• Grouping of New Clauses and Amendments for debate ― groups
might include Clause or Schedule stand part;
• Selection for separate decision (vote) on Amendments and
New Clauses which have been grouped for discussion with a lead
Amendment or New Clause.
• The duty of presiding over proceedings in Committee of the
whole House will be shared with the two Deputy Chairmen of Ways and
Means (Mrs Eleanor Laing and Dame Rosie Winterton) and two senior
Members from each side of the House drawn from the Panel of Chairs:
Sir David Amess, Sir David Crausby, David Hanson and Mr Gary
How do we get to know which amendments have been
Sadly it seems you wont know final selection until just before
commencement of that days debate. There is a rolling deadline for
Amendments of two clear days before (normally) they are considered
for selection. (If any of the deadlines fell in a recess, the
deadline would be the same day of the week as if the House was
sitting, but with a cut-off time of 4.30pm).
However a provisional selection and grouping will be published
each day before the Committee starts (see an example from the
Notification of Withdrawal Bill ). Most recent notification to MPs
suggests that subject to the timing of selection decisions by the
Chair, it may sometimes be possible to circulate a more
provisional/tentative draft selection and grouping for debate a day
or two in advance.
Note the Chair does not normally announce before each debate ends
which if any of the New Clauses or Amendments not in the lead of a
group will be called for a separate decision
The Committee of the whole House must take a decision on each
Clause or Schedule standing part of the Bill.
In each case, there is a motion for the clause or schedule to
stand part of the Bill. Therefore there are no amendments taken to
delete whole clauses - if MPs want to do that, they vote against
"clause stand part".
Each day in Committee of the whole House can last up to 8 hours
from when proceedings start on the Bill, plus the time needed for
any votes called at the end of the 8-hour period. Some days are in
two parts (labelled, for example, 8A and 8B) with the first part
given up to 4 or 6 hours from the commencement of proceedings on
the bill, with the second part allowed to take up the rest of that
day's 8-hour period from the time when debate started that day on
the Bill. There is no injury time for votes called within the
Only the lead (first) New Clause or Amendment in each group of
selected New Clauses and Amendments has to be disposed of, by
• withdrawn, with unanimous leave of the Committee, or
• negatived/agreed either
o on the voices ("Aye"/"No") or
o by a recorded Division.
Whether any of the other selected New Clauses and Amendments
which have been grouped with a lead New Clause or Amendment
is called to be moved formally and (if necessary) voted upon is
matter for the discretion of the Chair. By long established
practice, anything in the name of the Member in charge of the Bill
(the Government, in this case) will be called for decision.
When will it all be over?
The government has to factor in quite possibly 3 days for the
Budget, Wednesday 22nd November. It means that that week may well
be lost to related debates. The fact that there is no schedule for
the other 6 days suggests that the government may still be
factoring in some flexi time to enable deals to be struck or sort
out rebellious backbenchers. It is still possible to have this
finished , including Report stage, by Christmas and ready for a New
Year of fun and games in the Lords.
And that's when the fun begins........