Withdrawal Agreement Bill Clause 31
This clause gives Members the right to authorize the extension of the transition period. The full constitutional implications of this approach for future relations will be clearer over the next 12 months. However, some provisions of the WAB illustrate some of the constitutional difficulties that could arise from this approach. Article 5 of the withdrawal agreement provides that the withdrawal agreement has a direct effect and supremacy in British law (with effect in Article 4 of the withdrawal agreement). That is why national courts will intend to adopt the withdrawal agreement in the same way they transposed EU law when the UK was a member. In addition, the legal effect of the 1972 European Communities Act will remain in force under the transitional period provided for by Article 1 of the Act. These provisions are necessary to transpose the withdrawal agreement into domestic law and, in both cases, they send a clear message to the courts regarding the status of Community law. After the WAB becomes law, the withdrawal agreement must also be ratified by the European Parliament. A clause to extend the transitional Brexit period beyond 31 December is included.
Clauses that give Parliament a say in future Brexit agreements, negotiating targets or the extension deadline have been removed. In practical terms, these are three clauses and a timetable that were removed directly from the original WAB in October. Here are the clauses: on November 13, 2017, Brexit Minister David Davis announced a new bill to anchor the withdrawal agreement in national law through primary legislation. In further talks in the House of Commons, Davis said that if the UK decided not to pass the law on 29 March 2019, the UK would remain on track to leave the EU without a deal, having invoked Article 50 in March 2017, following the adoption of the Notification of Withdrawal Act 2017.  The October WAB contained a provision (paragraph 31) that would have created a structure for Parliament to monitor negotiations on future EU relations. This provision could, in turn, have led Members to seek, for example, the agreement of Members on the government`s negotiating mandate, which could have led to a strengthening of control by parliamentary committees. The decision not to include section 31 in the BMS shows that the government does not want to be bound by legal requirements to obtain the agreement of the Commons at certain stages of the negotiations. From the point of view of the rule of law, this seems to be short-sighted. Article 31 provided a way to increase the transparency and accessibility of the British government`s role in shaping future relations, an international agreement that will have a profound impact on the British people.
In the absence of such a provision, Parliament and the Government must find alternative mechanisms to ensure that parliamentarians and public opinion can be involved in the monitoring of international agreements. After winning a Conservative majority in the elections, the law was revised and reintroduced on 19 December, after being passed at second reading the following day. The revision of the law in December repealed the provisions adopted in previous versions of parliamentary control of the Brexit negotiations.  A number of clauses in the previous version of the act have been removed.