United Kingdom Internal Market Bill — New Clause 2 — Limits on Powers to Override Common Frameworks — 15 Sep 2020 at 17:45

The majority of MPs voted not to limit the powers of United Kingdom ministers to reduce standards by overriding agreements, or emerging agreements, between the United Kingdom government and the devolved administrations covering areas previously governed by European Union law.

MPs were considering the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill[1][2].

The proposed new clause rejected in this vote was titled: Limits on powers to override common frameworks and stated:

  • The Secretary of State shall not make any order or regulations under this or any other Act of Parliament that has the effect of imposing lower standards on Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, in any area for which a common framework—
  • (a) has been agreed,
  • (b) is in development, or
  • (c) becomes necessary,
  • unless, where subsection (b) or (c) above applies, the Secretary of State judges that a reasonable period has passed and the negotiations have failed to reach agreement, and a draft of the order or regulations has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.’

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

  • This new clause puts common frameworks on a statutory footing. Where there is a common framework agreed, Ministers would not be able to override them through secondary legislation to impose lower standards on devolved nations. Where a common framework was in development, or a new common framework became necessary, Ministers could not impose standards until the negotiation of common frameworks had taken place between the nations of the UK and failed to reach agreement after a reasonable period. The UK Parliament would be the ultimate arbiter of standards if reasonable agreement could not be reached.

The reference to "Common Frameworks" appears perhaps to refer to the term as defined in a Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) Communique, 16 October 2017[3] which states:

"As the UK leaves the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom and the devolved administrations agree to work together to establish common approaches in some areas that are currently governed by EU law, but that are otherwise within areas of competence of the devolved administrations or legislatures. A framework will set out a common UK, or GB, approach and how it will be operated and governed. This may consist of common goals, minimum or maximum standards, harmonisation, limits on action, or mutual recognition, depending on the policy area and the objectives being pursued. Frameworks may be implemented by legislation, by executive action, by memorandums of understanding, or by other means depending on the context in which the framework is intended to operate."

Debate in Parliament |

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%
Con343 (+2 tell) 0094.8%
DUP7 0087.5%
Independent1 0050.0%
Lab0 192 (+2 tell)096.0%
LDem0 000.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
Total:351 195093.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

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

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no rebellions

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