Section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 sets out specific requirements that must be met before the UK can ratify the withdrawal agreement. This briefing outlines the requirements of section 13 and identifies relevant reports and useful documents, including recent parliamentary materials and press articles, which may be of assistance to Members in preparing for the following motions that are expected to be debated together: The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Evans of Bowes Park) to move that this House, for the purposes of section 13(1)(c) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, takes note of the negotiated withdrawal agreement laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community’ and the framework for the future relationship laid before the House on Monday 26 November 2018 with the title ‘Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom’. Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour) to move that this House, while noting that it is for the House of Commons to determine the matter, considers that a no deal outcome to negotiations under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union must be emphatically rejected, and regrets that Her Majesty’s Government have negotiated a withdrawal agreement and political declaration that would do grave damage to the future economic prosperity, internal security and global influence of the United Kingdom.
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On 25 November 2018, the UK and the EU concluded a withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU and a political declaration on the framework for their future relationship, as provided for under article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union. Under the terms of article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, two years from the date of giving notice of its intention to leave. Following its ratification, the withdrawal agreement would become a legally binding international treaty. The political declaration sets out a framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. The precise terms of the future relationship can only be negotiated once the UK has left the EU and become a third country. Formal negotiations can then begin before a legally binding agreement (or agreements) can be reached.