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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 28th February 2018.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 5:15 pm, 28th February 2018

That is what we began talking about but the noble Baroness, Lady Hayter, for example, has referred to regulations. I will come on to address the point she made, but regulations have direct effect and if a regulation has direct effect by exit day it will form part of retained EU law. Directives have no direct effect in the domestic law of a member state. Directives have to be the subject of implementation and in that regard a transition period is given to member states for the implementation of a directive. There may be directives that have been adopted prior to the exit date which have a transitional period that will expire by the exit date specified in the Bill. In that event, the Government have indicated that they will seek to implement those directives that require implementation by a transitional date before the exit date. Therefore, they will become part of retained EU law because they will have been implemented in our domestic law.

There may also be directives that have been adopted which have not been the subject of implementation by the exit date because the transition period extends beyond the exit date. Those will not, therefore, have been taken into our domestic law and will not form part of retained EU law at the exit date. So, yes, there may be directives that have been adopted but not implemented by the exit date, and those directives will not form part of our domestic law. If, however, a directive contains matters that the Government consider appropriate to form part of our domestic law, there is no reason why the Government should not then proceed to enact appropriate domestic legislation to take into our domestic law those very matters.