Dealing with deficiencies arising from withdrawal

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 17th January 2018.

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Amendment proposed: 2, page 5, line 6, leave out subsections (1) to (6) and insert—

“(1) A Minister of the Crown may by regulations make such provision as the Minister considers necessary to prevent, remedy or mitigate—

(a) any failure of retained EU law to operate effectively, or

(b) any other deficiency in retained EU law,

arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

(2) Deficiencies in retained EU law are where the Minister considers that retained EU law—

(a) contains anything which has no practical application in relation to the United Kingdom or any part of it or is otherwise redundant or substantially redundant,

(b) confers functions on, or in relation to, EU entities which no longer have functions in that respect under EU law in relation to the United Kingdom or any part of it,

(c) makes provision for, or in connection with, reciprocal arrangements between—

(i) the United Kingdom or any part of it or a public authority in the United Kingdom, and

(ii) the EU, an EU entity, a member State or a public authority in a member State, which no longer exist or are no longer appropriate,

(d) makes provision for, or in connection with, other arrangements which—

(i) involve the EU, an EU entity, a member State or a public authority in a member State, or

(ii) are otherwise dependent upon the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU, and which no longer exist or are no longer appropriate,

(e) makes provision for, or in connection with, any reciprocal or other arrangements not falling within paragraph (c) or (d) which no longer exist, or are no longer appropriate, as a result of the United Kingdom ceasing to be a party to any of the EU Treaties,

(f) does not contain any functions or restrictions which—

(i) were in an EU directive and in force immediately before exit day (including any power to make EU tertiary legislation), and

(ii) it is appropriate to retain, or

(g) contains EU references which are no longer appropriate.

(3) But retained EU law is not deficient merely because it does not contain any modification of EU law which is adopted or notified, comes into force or only applies on or after exit day.

(4) Regulations under this section may make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament.

(5) Regulations under this section may provide for—

(a) functions of EU entities or public authorities in member States (including making an instrument of a legislative character or providing funding) to be exercisable instead by a public authority (whether or not newly established or established for the purpose) in the United Kingdom,

(b) the establishment of public authorities in the United Kingdom to carry out functions provided for by regulations under this section.

(6) Regulations to which subsection (5) apply must ensure that the functions of such EU entities or public authorities are exercised with equivalent scope, purpose and effect by public authorities in the United Kingdom.

(7) But regulations under this section may not—

(a) impose or increase taxation,

(b) make retrospective provision,

(c) create a relevant criminal offence,

(d) be made to implement the withdrawal agreement,

(e) amend, repeal or revoke the Human Rights Act 1998 or any subordinate legislation made under it,

(f) amend or repeal the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (unless the regulations are made by virtue of paragraph 13(b) of Schedule 7 to this Act or are amending or repealing paragraph 38 of Schedule 3 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 or any provision of that Act which modifies another enactment),

(g) contain any provision the effect of which is that, in comparison with the position immediately before the exit date—

(i) any right conferred on a person by retained EU law is either removed or made less favourable,

(ii) any standard laid by retained EU law is lowered, or

(iii) any remedy, procedure or method of enforcement, in relation to any rights or standards conferred by retained EU law, is made less effective, or

(h) amend, repeal or revoke the Equality Act 2010 or any subordinate legislation made under that Act.”—(Matthew Pennycook.)

This amendment restricts the Clause 7 powers so as to ensure they are only used as far is as necessary for the purposes of the Bill, that they do not abolish enforcement functions and that they do not reduce rights or protections.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House divided:

Ayes 302, Noes 318.

Division number 101

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendments made: 14, page 5, line 11, leave out

“include (but are not limited to)”

and insert “are”.

This amendment ensures that the deficiencies identified in Clause 7(2) form an exhaustive list rather than an illustrative list. Therefore nothing can be a deficiency for the purposes of Clause 7 unless it is identified in Clause 7(2) or provided for by Clause 7(2A) (for which see amendment 15).

Amendment 15, page 5, line 41, at end insert—

“(2A) There is also a deficiency in retained EU law where the Minister considers that there is—

(a) anything in retained EU law which is of a similar kind to any deficiency which falls within subsection (2), or

(b) a deficiency in retained EU law of a kind described, or provided for, in regulations made by a Minister of the Crown.”

This amendment provides that anything which is of a similar kind to any deficiency falling within paragraphs (a) to (g) of Clause 7(2) is also a deficiency for the purposes of Clause 7. It also provides for a Minister of the Crown to describe, or provide for, other deficiencies in regulations. Both changes are to be read in the light of amendment 14 which restricts the type of things that can be deficiencies for the purposes of Clause 7.

Amendment 16, page 5, line 45, leave out “this section” and insert “subsection (1)”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 15.

Amendment 17, page 6, line 1, leave out “this section” and insert “subsection (1)”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 15.

Amendment 18, page 6, line 10, leave out “this section” and insert “subsection (1)”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 15.

Amendment 19, page 6, line 12, leave out “this section” and insert “subsection (1)”.—(Mr Baker.)

This amendment is consequential on amendment 15.

Clause 9

Implementing the withdrawal agreement

Amendment proposed: 59, page 7, line 16, at end insert—

‘(5) No regulations may be made under this section until the Secretary of State has signed an agreement with the European Union guaranteeing that the United Kingdom will remain a permanent member of the EU single market and customs union.” —(Peter Grant.)

This amendment would mean the UK would confirm its continued membership of the single market and customs union before Ministers of the Crown carry out any actions under Clause 9 of the Bill.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House divided:

Ayes 99, Noes 322.

Division number 102

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 14