My Lords, I rise as batsman No. 3 today. This group covers Amendments 27, 28, 29, 30 and 36 to 58. I will speak to Government Amendments 27, 29, 30 and 36 to 58 which are minor, technical amendments. I will then respond to amendment 28 tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, and Lord Purvis of Tweed, after they have spoken to their amendment.
To avoid the unnecessary duplication of a provision already in place by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, Amendment 27 removes Clause 7(2). Clause 7(2) allows for devolved Administrations to make regulations under section 1(1) or 2(1) of the Trade Bill before exit day provided that those regulations do not come into effect until exit day. This is already provided for by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, which applies this principle to all Bills passed after the Act in the same Session of Parliament. There will be no change to policy with the removal of Clause 7(2); it merely removes an unnecessary and duplicative provision.
For the Bill to work in the way that is intended, the definition of subordinate legislation must include Acts passed in devolved legislatures as well as in the UK Parliament. This is possible by changing the definition of subordinate legislation from that used in the Interpretation Act 1978 to the more detailed one used in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act. This is the purpose of Amendment 29 which ensures that, where possible, the provisions in the Bill respect the important role of the devolved Administrations.
Turning to Amendments 30 and 36, Clause 8(6) in Part 1 of the Bill sets out a list of definitions of terms found in the Bill, such as “devolved authority”. The amendments will move the definition of domestic law from Schedule 1, paragraph 2(7) to Clause 8(6), where it will sit alongside other definitions that relate to the devolved Administrations. This will make the Bill easier for people to follow.
Turning to Amendments 37 to 43 and 45 to 58, Schedule 1 to the Trade Bill allows joint procedure requirements that derive from outside the Trade Bill still to apply to regulations made under Clauses 1 and 2 of the Bill. By inserting the phrase “acting alone” to appropriate places in Schedules 1 and 2, as Amendments 37 to 43 and 45 to 58 seek to do, we are improving the quality of the legislation by clarifying when the devolved authorities are acting alone as opposed to acting jointly with the UK Government.
Amendment 44 ensures that paragraph 6(4) of Schedule 1 works as intended by applying consultation requirements that would otherwise bind Northern Ireland devolved authorities to regulations made under Clause 1(1) and 2(1). These changes are technical in order to tidy up the Bill, and as such I hope your Lordships will support them.