European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill — Clause 37 — Arrangements with EU About Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum — 8 Jan 2020 at 14:38

The majority of MPs voted to remove a requirement for ministers to seek to negotiate an agreement with the European Union to enable unaccompanied child refugees to join their relatives.

MPs were considering the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.[1]

The amendment rejected in this vote was:

  • Amendment 4, page 37, line 3, leave out from “Europe)” to the end of the clause and insert “after subsection (3) insert—
  • ‘(3A) If, three months after this Act comes into force, no agreement achieving the objective contained in subsection (1) has been concluded with the European Union, a Minister of the Crown must make a statement to the House of Commons setting out—
  • (a) the steps taken by Her Majesty’s government, and the progress made in negotiations with the European Union, for the purpose of achieving the objective in subsection (1); and
  • (b) whether in the Minister’s opinion an agreement with the European Union achieving the objective of subsection (1) is likely to be achieved by IP completion day and, if not, setting out the reasons for this.
  • (3B) Following the making of the first Statement referred to in subsection (2), and until such time as an agreement satisfying the objective contained in subsection (1) is reached with the European Union, the Minister shall, at least as frequently as every 28 days thereafter, make further statements in accordance with sections (3A)(a) and (b).”

The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory statement from its proposer:

  • This amendment would protect the right for unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their family after Brexit.

Had it not been rejected the amendment would have impacted clause 37 of the Bill[2] which without the amendment stated:

  • In section 17 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (family unity for those seeking asylum or other protection in Europe), for subsection (1) substitute—
  • “(1) A Minister of the Crown must, within the period of two months beginning with the day on which the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 is passed, lay before Parliament a statement of policy in relation to any future arrangements between the United Kingdom and the EU about—
  • (a)unaccompanied children, who make an application for international protection to a member State, coming to the United Kingdom where it is in their best interests to join a relative who—
  • (i)is a lawful resident of the United Kingdom, or
  • (ii)has made a protection claim which has not been decided, and
  • (b)unaccompanied children in the United Kingdom, who make a protection claim, going to a member State to join a relative there in equivalent circumstances.”

Section 17 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 began:

  • (1) A Minister of the Crown must seek to negotiate, on behalf of the United Kingdom, an agreement with the EU under which, after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, in accordance with the agreement—
  • (a)an unaccompanied child who has made an application for international protection to a member State may, if it is in the child’s best interests, come to the United Kingdom to join a relative who—
  • (i)is a lawful resident of the United Kingdom, or
  • (ii)has made a protection claim which has not been decided, and
  • (b)an unaccompanied child in the United Kingdom, who has made a protection claim, may go to a member State to join a relative there, in equivalent circumstances.

the latter elements of the section deal with definitions of terms used.

Debate in Parliament |

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Party Summary

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.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con339 (+2 tell) 0093.4%
DUP8 00100.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent0 10100.0%
Lab0 185 (+2 tell)092.6%
LDem0 110100.0%
PC0 40100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
SNP0 46097.9%
Total:347 251093.8%

Rebel Voters - sorted by vote

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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