It has been a busy week in parliament with the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill coming back before the house.
The bill was returned to the Commons, allowing for scrutiny of the Lords amendments.
I welcome the fact that the Commons has dealt with the bill, passing the government amendments with strong and sometimes substantial government majorities in all divisions.
This has sent a clear message to the House of Lords, some of whom sought to frustrate the Brexit process and I hope now that we can get on with doing Brexit properly.
The bill is designed to cut off the source of European Union law in the UK, repealing the European Communities Act 1972.
The bill then converts EU law and EU-related domestic law into UK law when we leave the EU.
There is widespread acceptance that in legislating for Brexit, the regulations to convert non-domestic EU law into UK law will need to be implemented speedily to ensure a smooth transition as we leave.
The Lords has a revising role to play however, some of the Lords’ amend-ments went far beyond that and sort to dictate the negotiating stance of the government.
One amendment focused on the Customs Union and another called for the government to make the participation in the European Economic Area a negotiating objective. These have both been rejected by the Commons.
Not only would they undermine the negotiations, it would be consti-tutionally unprece-dented for amen-dments which allow parliament to instruct government on what steps it should take in international negotiations; this would change the constitutional role of parliament in negotiating international treaties.
The fundamental purpose of the bill is to prepare the UK’s statue book for the day of exit, rather than the terms of exit. Indeed, the bill is intended to deliver continuity of law upon leaving the EU.
Which is why I am pleased that the bill is now in its final stages and we can move on to agreeing the important issues surrounding our exit.