Electronic Money, Payment Services and Payment Systems (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - Motions to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate Conservative 3:30 pm, 6th November 2018

My Lords, that all sounds terribly straightforward. I shall just make a short comment and ask my noble friend one or two questions. In the European Parliament I was involved in matters such as the SWIFT banking arrangements for fast transfer of funds, particularly across the Atlantic with our United States friends, so I have a little background in this. As my noble friend correctly said, the single euro payments area covers 34 entities at present: the EU members; the other EEA members; Monaco and San Marino, which he mentioned; and Andorra, which, unless I am mistaken, he did not. Within that area, those countries have a combination of institutional and commercial arrangements. Looking at the effects on providers, or those involved in transfers, my noble friend mentioned negotiations taking place without the institutional arrangements of being members of the EU or another European institutional situation, such as the EEA. Is it possible to have an arrangement to remain part of the single euro payments area even if we are not members of any of those European institutions?

On the temporary permissions regime that my noble friend talked about, again, I question this. A lot of the SIs we are now looking at with regard to the withdrawal agreement seem to refer to temporary provisions. However, here in the Explanatory Memorandum we are talking about the cut-off date for this set of provisions. Is that extendable? Perhaps my noble friend could clarify.

In addition, part 2 statements, which are always attached, as my noble friend knows, never really illuminate one at all. The part 2 statement attached to this first SI includes an appropriateness statement; the Minister clearly states that it is appropriate and, when asked to give good reasons, answers by saying, “I think it’s reasonable”. We never get any fuller justification at all. Is my noble friend of the opinion that part 2 statements are integral sufficiently within the SI to be justiciable? Is it in fact possible for these to be challenged in courts as either inadequate or in themselves questionable?

My noble friend mentioned a general point about all scenarios. In paragraph 7.3 of the Explanatory Memorandum, “all scenarios” are referred to. Are all the scenarios the ones he has set out today, or are there further scenarios that could occur in the event of our not reaching a satisfactory conclusion with the European Union?

Finally, paragraph 7.4 of the Explanatory Memorandum refers to a sunset clause and mentions consequences. Can my noble friend elaborate slightly for us on what those likely consequences could be in relation to the sunset clause itself? It says that the power,

“falls away two years after exit day”,

but that does not take us much further along the road, particularly through a transition period, which we anticipate for financial matters.