The publication of the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement demonstrates that it is the intention of the Government to continue to send monies to the EU beyond March 29th 2019. Given that the chances of a no deal or delayed passage of any withdrawal agreement may exceed the March 29th date, it remains our concern that the November 2018 Finance Bill should be amended or voted down to restrict the Chancellor’s powers to send any further monies without Parliamentary approval.
Written questions to the Treasury by Andrea Jenkyns MP regarding the intent of the Treasury to send monies to the EU received the following responses:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to make any payments to the European Union and its institutions after 29 March 2019.
The Government has reached a fair financial settlement with the EU, honouring commitments made during the UK’s period of membership, and has ensured a fair deal for UK taxpayers. This settlement has been agreed in the context of an overall agreement under Article 50 that includes the framework of our future partnership.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether payments from the public purse to the EU will require parliamentary approval after 29 March 2019.
The Government has set out its plans for parliamentary approval of payments to the EU required by the draft Withdrawal Agreement in its White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill will include a provision that allows the Government to make payments due under the financial settlement, honouring its international commitments once the Withdrawal Agreement is in force. The Government has also proposed arrangements for reporting to Parliament on the details of the financial settlement.
The DUP have already indicated their concern over the Finance Bill in abstaining from votes after the publication of the Withdrawal Bill, given the concern among the Tory backbenches and ERG Group it is time for them to do the same, and indicate forcefully as Bow Group Senior Patron The Rt Hon John Redwood MP has that monies committed to the EU beyond March 29th without Parliamentary approval can now be freed up for domestic spending. It is the next and best step Brexiteer MPs can take to signal their displeasure at May’s botched deal.
The Finance Bill must be amended so that Parliament takes back control of the nation’s finances and ensures any money paid to the EU must be voted on separately. This ensures that Parliament has a binding vote on the future relationship with the European Union so such money be granted on the basis of cash against documents and not be misinterpreted by negotiating parties as a line of credit or an unlimited liability to the people of the United Kingdom.
No Parliament should bind its successor. No temporary arrangement with the European Union should extend beyond the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act nor can such an arrangement be valid without a future agreement with the European Union: any transition is only valid so long as its destination is legal and proper as it would otherwise run contrary to the Conservative Manifesto and UK law: that we leave the European Union immediately after the above date.
In order of publication there follows twenty most important statements of the General Election that returned this Parliament with a Conservative government:
1 We will found our plans on the principles of sound public finances, low taxes, free trade and effective regulation.
2 A government that cannot manage its money properly cannot command confidence at home or with international investors.
3 The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly
4 Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
5 When we leave the European Union and its Common Fisheries Policy, we will be fully responsible for the access and management of the waters where we have historically exercised sovereign control
6 Theresa May’s Conservatives will deliver the best possible deal for Britain as we leave the European Union delivered by a smooth, orderly Brexit: A strong and stable Union.
7 In leaving the European Union, we have chosen a truly global role for Britain. To strike trade deals with old friends and new partners and take a leading position in the world to defend British interests, we must be strong and united.
8 This begins with our determination to defend the integrity of the United Kingdom and to strengthen the Union, bringing the peoples of the United Kingdom together.
9 Our commitment to the 1998 Belfast Agreement and its successors, together with the institutions they establish, is undiminished.
10 We will uphold the essential principle that Northern Ireland’s future should only ever be determined by democracy and consent.
11 As we leave the European Union we recognise Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances and will seek to ensure that Northern Ireland’s interests are protected.
12 As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement.
13 We will enact a Great Repeal Bill. Our laws will be made in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and interpreted by judges across the United Kingdom, not in Luxembourg.