Theresa Villiers Written Questions

Questions to Department for Exiting the European Union tabled by Theresa Villiers


Date Title Questioner
25 Jul 2018, 3:53 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, which the EU rules are which are referred to in paragraph 42 of Chapter Four of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018, which would be interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union under the proposals contained in that paragraph.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

UK courts would pay due regard to CJEU case law in only those areas where the UK continued to apply a common rulebook. The common rulebook will cover goods including agri-food, where those rules are necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border.

Where the UK agrees to retain a common rulebook with the EU, it will be important for businesses and citizens here and in the EU that those areas are interpreted and applied consistently. The UK has therefore proposed that it would commit by treaty that its courts would pay due regard to CJEU case law, insofar as this was relevant to the matter before them. This is a recognition of legal fact - no other court can bind the EU on the meaning of EU law.

However, these rights would be enforced in the UK by UK courts and in the EU by EU courts.

No longer will courts in the UK be able to refer cases to the CJEU, including in cases involving individuals and businesses. And at present, the UK is bound by all CJEU decisions - hundreds of decisions every year which have direct effect in the UK, whether the case originated in the UK or not. This will no longer be the case.

25 Jul 2018, 3:52 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to paragraph 34 of Chapter 4 of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018, what actions the Joint Committee will be empowered to take in the event of significant divergences between the interpretation of agreements by the courts of the UK and the EU.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The proposed role of the Joint Committee is set out in Chapter 4 of the White Paper. It will be responsible for the functioning of the overarching institutional framework, which will encompass most of our agreements with the EU. It will do so through regular and structured dialogue, and by making decisions in order to manage any issues, and mitigate any disputes that might arise, including where significant divergences in interpretation had been identified.

If a dispute were to arise due to a significant divergence, a formal dispute could be raised in the Joint Committee. In some areas, it may be escalated to independent arbitration if a resolution cannot be reached in the Joint Committee.

25 Jul 2018, 3:52 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to paragraph 34 of Chapter 4 of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9653, published on 12 July 2018, what actions the Joint Committee will be empowered to take in the event of significant divergences between the interpretation of agreements by the courts of the UK and the EU.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The proposed role of the Joint Committee is set out in Chapter 4 of the White Paper. It will be responsible for the functioning of the overarching institutional framework, which will encompass most of our agreements with the EU. It will do so through regular and structured dialogue, and by making decisions in order to manage any issues, and mitigate any disputes that might arise, including where significant divergences in interpretation had been identified.

If a dispute were to arise due to a significant divergence, a formal dispute could be raised in the Joint Committee. In some areas, it may be escalated to independent arbitration if a resolution cannot be reached in the Joint Committee.

23 Jul 2018, 4:53 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to paragraph 47 of Chapter Four of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018, what the financial penalties will be.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

Once an agreement is reached between the UK and the EU on the shape of the future relationship, there is no reason to expect that either party will break the commitments the UK and the EU have made to each other. However, as is normal in international agreements, the UK and the EU will still need to agree on what should happen if one party is in breach of the agreements.


As the White Paper says, suspension measures should be rarely used, and when used should be limited, with priority given to those non-compliance measures which cause least damage to the functioning of the agreement. A financial penalty is another potential non-compliance measure. By way of example, the US has included financial compensation in eleven free trade agreements, including US-Australia and US-South Korea. Any non-compliance measures taken should end once any non-compliance has ended and where there is ongoing non-compliance measures should be renewed by notifying the Joint Committee.

23 Jul 2018, 4:53 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to paragraph 47 of Chapter Four of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018, what the obligations are which could be suspended.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

Once an agreement is reached between the UK and the EU on the shape of the future relationship, there is no reason to expect that either party will break the commitments the UK and the EU have made to each other. However, as is normal in international agreements, the UK and the EU will still need to agree on what should happen if one party is in breach of the agreements.


As the White Paper says, suspension measures should be rarely used, and when used should be limited, with priority given to those non-compliance measures which cause least damage to the functioning of the agreement. A financial penalty is another potential non-compliance measure. By way of example, the US has included financial compensation in eleven free trade agreements, including US-Australia and US-South Korea. Any non-compliance measures taken should end once any non-compliance has ended and where there is ongoing non-compliance measures should be renewed by notifying the Joint Committee.

23 Jul 2018, 4:44 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will set out the mechanism for parliamentary scrutiny envisaged in paragraph 55 of chapter four of the White Paper on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU, cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

The institutional provisions set out in the White Paper will ensure accountability in relation to the agreements. Parliamentary scrutiny is integral to ensuring accountability and the Government recognises the expertise in the existing scrutiny structures in the Commons and the Lords. The UK Parliament will have a role in overseeing and scrutinising any proposals that relate to ongoing cooperation between the UK and the EU under the agreements. The Government will bring forward further legislation, as appropriate, to give effect to the future relationship in the UK.

23 Jul 2018, 4:44 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will publish his proposal for the mechanism for parliamentary scrutiny referenced in paragraph 55 of Chapter Four of the White Paper, The future relationship between the UK and the EU, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

The institutional provisions set out in the White Paper will ensure accountability in relation to the agreements. Parliamentary scrutiny is integral to ensuring accountability and the Government recognises the expertise in the existing scrutiny structures in the Commons and the Lords. The UK Parliament will have a role in overseeing and scrutinising any proposals that relate to ongoing cooperation between the UK and the EU under the agreements. The Government will bring forward further legislation, as appropriate, to give effect to the future relationship in the UK.

23 Jul 2018, 4:43 p.m. Brexit Theresa Villiers

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to page 8 of the White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Cm. 9593, published on 12 July 2018, which items of EU law will be included in the common rulebook for goods including agri-food.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

As set out in the White Paper, the common rulebook would cover those rules which are necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border. In the case of manufactured goods, this encompasses all rules that could be checked at the border, as they set the requirements for placing manufactured goods on the market. For agricultural products, food and drink, this includes relevant Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) rules to safeguard human, animal and plant health.