Scope of regulations under section 31 or 33

Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 17 December 2018.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Clause 34 defines and limits the scope of regulation-making powers in clauses 31 and 33, ensuring that the devolved status of fisheries is respected. Subsection (1) allows for regulations made under clauses 31 and 33 to confer a function, including the imposition of fees. Subsection (2) allows for the creation of criminal offences, but not offences punishable by imprisonment. Subsection (3) states that regulations made under clauses 31 or 33 cannot include provisions that are within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly unless the provision is merely incidental or consequential.

Subsection (4) further restricts the use of powers under clauses 31 and 33 as the regulations may not be used to modify functions held by Welsh Ministers in relation to the enforcement of sea-fishing licences and regulating the conduct of fishing operations. Subsection (5) restricts the use of powers under clauses 31 and 33 so that they may not modify fisheries administrations’ functions relating to the licensing of fishing boats under any of the provisions in clauses 9 to 13 and schedule 2. Finally, subsection (7) sets out the broad scope of the power to amend any enactment. That will be essential for modifying retained EU law after our exit from the European Union.

In summary, the clause places limitations on the exercise of powers in clauses 31 and 33, predominantly to ensure that there is no encroachment on the devolution settlement that we have. I beg to move that the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 34 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 35