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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (7th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 14th March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Mackay of Clashfern Conservative 5:15 pm, 14th March 2018

My Lords, first, I hope that “appropriate” will disappear in any event, and that it will be replaced with “necessary”. This clause appears to be drafted especially to deal with a situation where, once the withdrawal Bill is passed, a number of important things have to be done before exit day. I hope that the House of Commons will have the opportunity to consider these. The reference here is quite clearly to something that is required in implementing the withdrawal agreement. We have only to listen to the amendments that were dealt with this morning to know the tremendous complexity that this withdrawal Bill is bound to have—I only hope that it will have it and that we will have an agreement that will be incorporated in a withdrawal agreement Bill, which will deal with these complications. However, if they are dealt with, it is quite obvious that quite a number of things will have to be dealt with speedily that will be brought into effect on exit day. For example, where the authority controlling a particular line of business is no longer effective because of the withdrawal agreement, it may be necessary, to preserve that, to have some form of regulation that sets up an alternative, so that there is a control; for example, with regard to the things that were mentioned this morning, food safety.

It is therefore possible that in some situations the regulations will require modification of existing Acts of Parliament. The substance of this clause is therefore of importance, and we may have to consider it in a bit more detail. I hope that the Minister, when she comes to reply, will be able to give us some examples of the kind of thing that can happen. However, it would be dangerous not to make provision in case that kind of thing happens. The withdrawal agreement Bill will be complicated enough, so if we can make some preparation for it, that would be of benefit.