Justification Decision Power (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:44 pm on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:44 pm, 22nd January 2019

My Lords, it is complex and technical. There is no one body called the justifying authority; there are a number of different authorities. On certain occasions, it will by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business; on other occasions, if it was a matter relating to health, it could be the Secretary of State for Health. As I made clear earlier, where it was a devolved matter, it could be the devolved Administrations.

Let me give an example to illustrate how a whole range of things are covered—I am thinking of something that has been in the news recently. If prisons wanted to install a new system for examining or scanning prisoners and others as they came through—I believe that that has already been justified—that involves ionising radiation. I shall now add a further complication: one might presume that the Ministry of Justice would be the justifying authority in that matter, but on this occasion it would be the Home Office. In other words, it would have to look at what the risks to people using these things might be and whether the societal benefits that I referred to earlier were greater such that we wanted to install the technology, hence the need for a justifying authority. There are a number of justifying authorities.

Unlike some other regulations that the noble Lord and I have debated, these are both what we could call deal and no-deal regulations. We are just trying to make sure that the right order is in place so that life can continue as before, with the appropriate justifying authority making the appropriate decision.