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The European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, also known as the Benn Act, placed a requirement on the Government to report to Parliament on the progress of negotiations with the EU if the article 50 period was extended beyond 31 October 2019. Section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA 2018) placed a requirement on the Government to make a statement about how it proposed to proceed if it put a Brexit withdrawal deal to the House of Commons but failed to gain the Commons’ approval. Both these requirements were triggered following events on 19 October 2019. The House of Commons voted to withhold approval of the Government’s revised withdrawal agreement and political declaration until implementing legislation was passed. As required by the Benn Act, the Government sent a letter to the EU requesting an extension of the article 50 period until 31 January 2020. This extension was formally agreed between the UK and the EU on 28 October 2019. The Government published the report required under the Benn Act and the statement required under EUWA 2018 on 8 November 2019. The documents note that no further negotiations with the EU on the UK’s withdrawal have taken place since the revised withdrawal agreement was agreed with the EU on 17 October 2019. Formal negotiations on the future relationship will not begin until the UK has left the EU. The Government intends to repeal section 13 and the Benn Act through provisions in the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.


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