The House of Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union this morning issued their report on the Bill that Parliament will undoubtedly approve today. They said of it:
The Agreement is necessarily complex. It will take time for people to analyse it fully and understand its implications. It will be important that the Agreement and its implementation and application are subject to ongoing scrutiny.
We regret that the timing of the deal means there is not enough time for our Committee to scrutinise the deal more fully; we intend to report again in January with more analysis but this will be without the benefit of having had time to take extensive evidence on the deal.
Members of the House are being asked to read the deal (published on 26 December), to read the Bill brought forward by the Government to give the deal effect in UK law (due to be made available on 29 December) and to form a judgement on its contents in time to debate and vote on the Bill on 30 December. There is no alternative given where we are but that both the Government and the EU Commission have put parliaments in this position is a matter of deep concern.
I am not convinced that the Commission are much to blame, but that, presumably, kept the Tory members of the committee happy. The rest is an admission that Parliament will today pass a law having no idea what it is, what it might do, and who is accountable for what. This could not be further from taking back control than would have been possible if anyone had engineered the outcome. But, then, maybe they did, for just that reason.