The National Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Committee and the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee have released the following joint statement in conjunction with representatives from the Scottish Parliament, House of Commons and House of Lords.
“Today, we the Chairs, Conveners and representatives of Committees scrutinising Brexit-related issues in the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, House of Commons and House of Lords, met at the House of Lords for the first meeting of a new Interparliamentary Forum on Brexit, to discuss the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and our collective scrutiny of that process.
"Officials from the Northern Ireland Assembly were in attendance as observers.
“The Brexit process is unprecedentedly complex and, notwithstanding our different political positions and perspectives on Brexit, as parliamentarians in our respective legislatures we face common challenges: seeking to ensure the best outcome for the people and communities we represent; holding the UK and devolved governments to account for their role in the process; scrutinising the effects of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and related legislation, including the legislative consent process; understanding the implications of Brexit for the future of the devolution settlements; and seeking to determine the nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
“Today has been an opportunity to learn about the work that each of our Committees and legislatures is undertaking; to share information and experiences; and to consider how we can best work together in the months to come as the Brexit process moves forward.
"We met Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the EU, and have made clear to him the UK Government’s responsibility to ensure that the interests of the whole of the UK, and of each of its constituent parts and nations, are fully taken into account during this process.
"Therefore it is essential that DExEU Ministers are available to give evidence to all parliamentary committees with a role in scrutinising the Brexit process and the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
“There remains much uncertainty about how the Brexit process will develop over the coming months.
"We therefore propose to meet again early in 2018, and at regular intervals thereafter, to work together as parliamentarians to review the progress of both the negotiations and the parallel domestic legislation.”
Hilary Benn MP, Chair, House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee
Bruce Crawford MSP, Convener, Scottish Parliament Finance and Constitution Committee
Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Chair, National Assembly for Wales Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee
Lord Jay of Ewelme, Acting Chair, House of Lords European Union Committee
Joan McAlpine MSP, Convener, Scottish Parliament Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee
Lord McFall of Alcluith, Senior Deputy Speaker, House of Lords
Andrew Murrison MP, Chair, House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
David Rees AM, Chair, National Assembly for Wales External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee
Graham Simpson MSP, Convener, Scottish Parliament Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee
Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Chair, House of Lords Constitution Committee
Lord Thomas of Gresford, Member, House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee
Adam Tomkins MSP, Deputy Convener, Scottish Parliament Finance and Constitution Committee
Lord Trefgarne, Chair, House of Lords Secondary Legislation Committee