European Union (Withdrawal) Bill — New Clause 1 — Scrutiny Committee — 13 Dec 2017 at 21:25
The majority of MPs voted for a committee of MPs to have a role in scrutinising certain actions related to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.
It appears the intent would have been for the committee of MPs to have a role in determining the degree of parliamentary scrutiny certain secondary legislation made under the act would be subject to; although this wasn't explicit.
MPs were considering the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
The proposed new clause rejected in this vote was titled Scrutiny Committee and stated::
- “(1) For the purposes of this Act ‘a scrutiny committee’ refers to either—
- (a) the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, or
- (b) a Committee of the House of Commons which is established to perform the specific functions assigned to a scrutiny committee in this Act.
- (2) The scrutiny committee referred to in subsection (1)(b) shall be chaired by a Member who is—
- (a) of the same Party as the Official Opposition, and
- (b) elected by the whole House.”
The rejected new clause was accompanied by the following explanatory note:
- This new clause establishes the principle that there shall be a Commons triage committee which works alongside the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee to determine the level of scrutiny each statutory instrument shall receive.
Alone, given there were no references to a scrutiny committee in the Bill and the rejected new clause was not linked to other amendments, even informally via the explanatory note, acceptance of the new clause would have resulted, at least temporarily, in a nonsensical situation.
There were however other amendments put forward which sought to give a scrutiny committee roles:
- Schedule 7, page 43,line 3,after “if” insert “a scrutiny committee determines that
- Schedule 7, page 43, line 15, at end insert—
- (g) is otherwise of sufficient policy interest to merit the application of sub-paragraph (1)
- Schedule 7, page 43, line 19, at end insert—
- “, unless a scrutiny committee determines that the instrument is of such significant policy interest that it ought to be subject to approval of each House with a procedure that allows for amendment.”
These amendments, which don't appear to have been considered, would have impacted Schedule 7, Part 2 of the Bill, paragraph 5, titled "Power to implement international obligations". The effect of these amendments would have been to empower the scrutiny committee to determine if the various conditions for requiring secondary legislation to be approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament, had been met. A new condition of "significant policy interest" would have been added to a list including: "establishes a public authority in the United Kingdom", "creates, or widens the scope of, a criminal offence" etc. Perhaps the speaker would have selected these amendments for consideration had the proposed new clause not been rejected.
-  Parliament's webpage on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
-  House of Commons amendment sheet, 4 December 2017
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||301 (+2 tell)||0||0||95.9%|
|Lab||0||242 (+2 tell)||0||94.2%|