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Brexit: Legislation - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 20th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Cunningham of Felling Lord Cunningham of Felling Chair, SLSC Sub-Committee B 3:15 pm, 20th February 2019

My Lords, the reality of the numbers is that more than 400 statutory instruments—as the Minister correctly said—have been tabled. Some 188 have been the subject of scrutiny to date, as of yesterday. There is a big difference—as I have said in this House before—between laying the instruments and getting them scrutinised. I emphasise that the reason for the delay is not the committee chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, or the committee that I chair, but the failure of government departments to expedite the laying of the instruments in the first place. Next week 71 instruments will be considered by the two committees. More than 50% of them come from one government department—Defra. The point has already been made that the Government are running out of time. Laying instruments from now on will not meet the requirement of 40 days to pray against them, as we are fewer than 40 days from the leaving date. If the Government want to expedite this, will the Minister please insist that government departments get on with the job?