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Insolvency (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:33 pm on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Fox Lord Fox Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 7:33 pm, 15th January 2019

My Lords, in addition to the concerns which were very importantly raised on the nature of the drafting involved here and the use of powers, I have a couple of major technical quibbles. At the risk of treading into what may be the patented territory of asymmetry, which was just discussed, we seem to be back in an asymmetrical relationship here. We are changing our rules in the hope that Europe will reciprocate. That is my interpretation; if it is wrong, perhaps the Minister can update me. How forlorn or optimistic is this hope? What hope do those employees have of their rights and benefits being preserved—the Minister rightly highlighted that we need to have these processes in order to preserve them—for businesses which cross not just into the United Kingdom but into the rest of Europe?

The Minister’s point about courts was very interesting, because that of course was what the European Court of Justice was for: dealing with cross-border disputes over a similar group of rules. What the Minister describes is complicated, expensive and fraught with the possibility of failure. Perhaps the Minister can explain what benefits we will reap from substituting what we have today with what his department has set in front of us. So I have serious concerns that there are major problems with this SI.