Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
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Windsor Framework: Committee warn against ‘fait accompli’

Preventing Parliament from having “meaningful input” into the Windsor Framework before it is finalised between the Government and the EU risks being seen as a ‘fait accompli’, according to a new report by the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC).

The report was published outlining the Prime Minister’s responsibility to enable oversight of the deal brokered between the Government and the European Union by MPs after Mr Sunak rejected an invitation to appear before the Committee. The original offer had been to hold a session today (14 March).

No date has been set for a Parliamentary vote. Meanwhile, the European Council seems set to agree to the proposals on 21 March with a joint UK-EU meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee due to sign off on the deal by as early as the end of that week, the report says.

Feeling that he may be attempting to swerve timely scrutiny, MPs on the Committee have publicly outlined their concerns and listed some of the most critical issues that they want addressing. These include the applicability of EU law in Northern Ireland and the role of the European Court of Justice under the Framework, the operation of the ‘Stormont Brake’, and movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Chair's comment

Committee Chairman Sir William Cash said,

“We were put into a sticky situation by the sequencing of negotiations during the original Withdrawal Agreement talks. Our overwhelming desire is to come by the best outcome for Northern Ireland that does not imperil the Union.”

“Parliament should not be railroaded into a deal that it has not had sufficient time to come to an educated choice over whether to proceed or renegotiate, which will be unlikely to happen if the Government were to rush ahead particularly if the EU wishes to do so.”

“MPs in the House must have a meaningful chance at input before this happens.”

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