EU (Withdrawal) Bill

Read through our latest briefings on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and its implications for local government.


Committee Stage, House of Lords March 2018 

Amendments statements for:

  • border checks
  • Family reunification
  • Local government consultation
  • Devolution

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Local Government Association (LGA) EU (Withdrawal) Bill Committee Stage, House of Lords March 2018  


Second Reading, House of Lords, 30 and 31 January 2018

Key messages

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the entire body of EU law into UK law, with the intention of allowing businesses to continue operating and providing fairness to individuals, knowing the rules have not changed when the UK leaves the EU. This legal certainty must be given to councils too.
  • EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services.
  • Formal advisory role: Local government has a formal advisory role in the EU law and policy-making process through its membership of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). Formally involving local government in law-making has ensured that EU laws are improved by the experience of those at the frontline of delivery. The Prime Minister has made a commitment that the same rules will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. Therefore, the Government needs to replicate this formal advisory role for local government without recreating the institution of the Committee of the Regions.
  • The LGA, together with the local government associations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have been in discussion with the UK Government about how this advisory role might be replicated in UK law. Our shared ambition is to replicate the advisory role of local government in the UK post-exit, without creating new bureaucracies, to help continue our role in good law-making and ensure no deficiency in local government powers. We would encourage the Government to update Parliament on the progress of these discussions as soon as possible.
  • Devolution: Former EU powers will start to be reviewed after the Bill is passed. Brexit should not simply mean a transfer of powers from Brussels to Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay. It must lead to new legislative freedoms and flexibilities for councils so that residents and businesses benefit. Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them and saving money.
  • EU funding: Continued participation in the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2014-20 is welcome as a short-term solution, but it is now essential that this funding to local areas is fully replaced from 2021. A locally-led successor to EU regional aid is needed to stop an £8.4 billion UK-wide funding gap for local communities opening up at this point.

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Second Reading, House of Lords, 30 & 31 January 2018


Remaining Stages, House of Commons 16 and 17 January 2018

Key messages

  • Currently local government has a formal advisory role in the EU law and policy-making process through its membership of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). Formally involving local government in law-making has ensured that EU laws are improved by consulting those at the frontline of delivery.
  • The Prime Minister made a commitment that the same rules will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. Therefore, a replacement of this formal advisory role is needed so that local government can continue our role in good law-making in the UK once we leave the EU and to ensure no deficiency in local government powers. To be clear, it is the rights and responsibilities local government currently have that need to be replicated, not the institution of the CoR itself.
  • The LGA, together with the local government associations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have been in discussion with the UK Government about how this advisory role might be replicated in UK law. Our shared ambition is to replicate the advisory role of local government in the UK post-exit, without creating new bureaucracies. We would encourage the Government to update Parliament on the progress of these discussions as soon as possible.

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EU (Withdrawal) Bill Remaining Stages, House of Commons 16 and 17 January 2018


Committee Stage day eight, House of Commons, 20 December 2017

Key messages

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the entire body of EU law into UK law, with the intention of allowing businesses to continue operating and providing fairness to individuals, knowing the rules have not changed when the UK leaves the EU. This legal certainty must be given to councils too.
  • EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services. The conversion of EU law will therefore have an impact on our most important public services. • Currently local government has a formal advisory role in the EU law and policy-making process through its membership of the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR). Formally involving local government in law-making has ensured that EU laws are improved by consulting those at the frontline of delivery.
  • The Prime Minister made a commitment that the same rules will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. Therefore, a replacement of this formal advisory role is needed so that local government can continue our role in good law-making in the UK once we leave the EU and to ensure no deficiency in local government powers. To be clear, it is the rights and responsibilities local government currently have that need to be replicated, not the institution of the CoR itself.
  • The LGA, together with the local government associations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have been in discussion with the UK Government about how this advisory role might be replicated in UK law. Our shared ambition is to replicate the advisory role of local government in the UK post-exit, without creating new bureaucracies. We wish to continue our constructive discussions with the Government. Parliament should be advised on progress and we would encourage the Government to update Parliament on progress at Report Stage of the Bill.
  • Former EU powers will start to be reviewed after the Bill is passed. Brexit should not simply mean a transfer of powers from Brussels to Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay. It must lead to new legislative freedoms and flexibilities for councils so that residents and businesses benefit. Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them and saving money.

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EU (Withdrawal) Bill, Committee Stage day eight, House of Commons, 20 December 2017


Committee Stage, days 1 and 2, House of Commons, November 2017

Key messages

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the entire body of EU law into UK law, with the intention of allowing businesses to continue operating and providing fairness to individuals, knowing the rules have not changed when the UK leaves the EU. This legal certainty must be given to councils too. EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services. The conversion of EU law will impact on our most important public services.   
  • Principles supporting devolution to and consultation of local government have also been included in EU treaties. There must be no loss of powers for councils on the day the UK leaves membership of the EU. Just as the roles and powers of the devolved administrations are set out in the Bill, so too must the position of councils be formally enshrined in law.  
  • Former EU powers will start to be reviewed after the Bill is passed. Brexit should not simply mean a transfer of powers from Brussels to Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay. It must lead to new legislative freedoms and flexibilities for councils so that residents and businesses benefit. Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them and saving money.  
  • Council leaders want to work with the Government to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to avoid defaulting to a silo-approach and creating a like-for like replacement of the current EU programme.   
  • A lighter-touch procurement system is needed to simplify the processes and provide more flexibilities to promote local growth. It is vital that local government can procure more promptly whilst also lowering high administration costs for businesses and councils.    

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Committee Stage, days 1 and 2, House of Commons, November 2017


Second Reading, House of Commons, 7 September 2017

Key messages

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will convert the entire body of EU law into UK law, with the intention of allowing businesses to continue operating and providing fairness to individuals, knowing the rules have not changed when the UK leaves the EU. This legal certainty must be given to councils too.
  • EU laws impact many of the council services that affect people's day-to-day lives, from protecting people from unsafe food when they eat out to regulating how councils buy goods and services. The conversion of EU law will impact on our most important public services.
  • The Government has presented the transfer of EU law onto the UK statute book as a matter of process not policy. However, we are concerned by the potential policy implications arising from the creation of new UK central agencies, especially those in many areas where regulation might better be achieved by local government itself.

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EU (Withdrawal) Bill Second Reading, House of Commons 7 September 2017