My ‘safety net’ amendment to Article 50 Bill

Transitional arrangements

This amendment would require the Government to set out, prior to triggering Article 50, a detailed plan for a transitional arrangement with the EU, covering the period between the end of the two-year Article 50 negotiation period, and the coming into force of a final Treaty on the UK’s new relationship with the EU. And it would further require that that plan be approved by Parliament.

Currently, when we hit the two-year mark, the only option if a deal has not been secured, is to send Britain over a cliff edge. We’d face having to the leave the EU – effectively overnight – crashing out of the EU on WTO-only terms. In short, my amendment is simply a safety net.

If the two-year Article 50 period proves insufficient to reach a final agreement, then this simple amendment seeks to guarantee a meaningful transition arrangement to govern UK-EU trade relations during the period – which some suggest could be as long as a decade – between the UK leaving the EU, at the end of the two-year Article 50 period, and whenever a longer term agreement on the future UK-EU relationship is concluded.

The amendment

Clause 1, page 1, line 5, at end insert—lause 1, page 1, line 5, at end insert—

“( ) A notification may only be given under subsection (1) once—

(a) Her Majesty’s Government has laid before each House of Parliament a White Paper setting out its approach to any transitional arrangements with the European Union following the expiry of the two-year period specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union; and

(b) the approach set out in the White Paper has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”