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The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will go through Committee stage on 14-15 November

14 November 2017

This week MPs and peers return to parliament from a short recess. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will go through Committee stage on 14-15 November in the House of Commons. This will be the first of eight days scheduled for committee stage.


Dr Pavel Klimov, Chair of the Law Society’s Technology and the Law Group, will give evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on its 'Algorithms in decision-making' inquiry, which is examining the increasing use of algorithms in public and business decision making.

Last week the Trade Bill was presented before the House of Commons.  The government have stated that the legislation will enable the UK to become an independent trading nation.

Labour MP Justin Madders presented the Leasehold Reform Bill to the House of Commons to help deliver a ‘fair and simple’ mechanism to help current leaseholders end their agreements. This ten-minute ruling follows the Department for Communities and Local Government launch of a consultation in July to seek views on prohibiting the sale of new build leasehold houses, limiting ground rents and protecting leaseholders from possession orders. The Law Society responded to this consultation in September.

This week in parliament 

Monday 13 November 

House of Lords

  • European Union (Approvals) Bill - Committee Stage
  • Data Protection Bill - Committee Stage (day 3)
  • Impact of eventual financial settlement with the EU of those EU assets towards which the UK made a financial contribution and which at Brexit will remain part of the EU. – Lord Spicer Oral questions.

Tuesday 14 November

House of Commons

  • European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (Committee Stage, day 1 of 8)
  • Science and Technology Committee – Dr Pavel Klimov, Chair of the Law Society’s Technology and the Law Group, will give evidence as part of the 'Algorithms in decision-making' inquiry. Further witness include:
    • Dr Sandra Wachter, Lawyer and Researcher in Data Ethics, AI, and Robotics at the Oxford Internet Institute
    • Silkie Carlo, Senior Advocacy Officer, Liberty

Wednesday 15 November

House of Commons

  • European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (Committee Stage, day 2 of 8)
  • International Trade Committee – Oral session on continuing application of EU trade agreements after Brexit inquiry. Witnesses include:
    • Philippe De Baere, International Trade Lawyer, Van Bael & Bellis
    • Andrew Hood, Barrister and EU Law Expert, Dechert

Thursday 16 November

House of Commons

  • Oral questions to the Attorney General 

House of Lords

  • Oral questions – an adequacy decision for data transfers between the UK and the EU after Brexit

Last week in parliament

Monday 6 November

House of Lords

Data Protection Bill – Committee Stage

The Data Protection Bill is currently at Committee stage in the House of Lords. The Bill does not currently allow for the processing of special categories (sensitive) data to provide legal advice.

The proposed amendments to the Bill will continue to be scrutinised and debated at Committee Stage on Tuesday 14 November (day 2 of 7).

Tuesday 7 November 

House of Commons

Trade BiIl

The government’s introduced the Trade Bill to the House of Commons for its First Reading. The government have stated that the legislation will create the framework that enables the UK to become an independent global trading nation. The bill will:

  • Create powers to assist in the transition of over 40 existing trade agreements between the EU and other countries
  • Enable the UK re-join the WTO by becoming an independent member of the Agreement on government Procurement (GPA) – a plurilateral agreement within the WTO framework. This will ensure UK companies have continued access trading opportunities with other countries 
  • Establish a new independent UK body, the Trade Remedies Authority, to deliver the new UK trade remedies framework and provide advice, support and assistance in connection with the conduct of international disputes; and
  • Ensure the UK government has the legal abilities for gathering and sharing trade information,including powers for HMRC to collect data and for data sharing gateways to be created between public and private bodies. 

The Second Reading of the bill will be the first opportunity for MPs to debate the general principles and themes of the Bill. A date has not yet been announced. 

The government previously released a White Paper which explores its ‘emerging approach to establishing an independent international trade policy’ once the UK exits the European Union.

Leasehold Reform Bill has its First Reading

Justin Madders (Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston) brought forward a Ten Minute Ruling Bill on reform of leaseholds.

The Bill:

  • makes provision about the regulation of the purchase of freehold by leaseholders. 
  • introduce a system for establishing the maximum charge for such freehold: the amount for a leaseholder to purchase their freehold would be capped at no more than 10 times the annual ground rent. Madders said such a system would involve a simple formula for calculating the value of the freehold, based on the ground rent and the number of years left on the lease, with a cap on the maximum payable.
  • makes provision about the award of legal costs in leasehold property tribunal cases. The bill ensures that a leaseholder will not have to pay the freeholder’s costs just to enforce their own rights under the lease.
  • establishes a statutory compensation scheme for cases where misleading detail has led to certain leasehold agreements. In his presentation of the bill, Madders raised concerns about advice currently given by solicitors to purchasers.

In his address to parliament, Madders welcomed the government’s recent consultation on ending unfair leasehold practices and urged Ministers to end the practice (the government announced a review on 25 July). He said the bill would aim to deliver a ‘fair and simple’ mechanism to help current leaseholders end their agreements. He said sales people and solicitors recommended by developers had not made leaseholders aware of the finer detail of what they were signing up to.  

The Bill will continue through parliament as a Private Members Bill and is expected to receive a second reading on 2 February 2018.

Wednesday 8 November - Friday 10 November

Both the House of Commons and House of Lords rose for parliamentary recess on Tuesday 7 November. Nothing relevant.

Question or comments? Contact the Public Affairs team at parliamentary@lawsociety.org.uk or 020 7320 5858.

Tags: Westminster weekly update

About the author

Alexandra Cardenas is Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at the Law Society. Public Affairs manages the relationships with parliament and government. She is a dual qualified solicitor in England and Wales (2014), and Colombia (2002). Prior to the Society, she practised as a human rights lawyer and worked at Macmillan Cancer Support and Animal Defenders International.

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