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Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 18th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 5:15 pm, 18th February 2019

I thought I was going to listen to a debate on a specific SI, but there are some very large principles here about the way in which this House should be handling the very large number of SIs which we are expected to get through in the next two to three weeks. If it is correct to say that the Treasury has now laid down that there should be no impact assessment because we can all rely on what the Government told us in general about the implications of leaving the EU, that seems to be close to being totally improper and at the very least to require a formal Statement to this House about how we are expected to deal with this very large number of statutory instruments.

In the circumstances, the most appropriate thing would be for the Minister to withdraw this statutory instrument and to come back in a few days after there has been some consultation on it among the Front Benches. If he is not able to do that, at the very least he should promise that tomorrow there will be a formal Statement to the House on how statutory instruments will be handled from now on. It seems that we are heading into an area where statutory instruments are not being properly scrutinised by this House.