Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:59 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Jeremy Morgan:

They are very open ended, and to my mind they are unnecessary, certainly at this stage. You have to recall that we set out the legislative framework in our paper. At present, the EU’s social security co-ordination rules apply in this country, because we are still in the EU. The 2018 withdrawal Act preserves them as retained legislation after 30 March, if that is the date on which Brexit happens and there is no withdrawal agreement. However, in exercising a regulation-making power under that Act, the DWP has already put forward a slightly amended version of the EU regulation, to take account of the fact that, basically, there will no longer be communication between the various countries.

There is no need for any rushed legislation on this. The existing law, which we are told it is the intention of the Government to preserve, is in place. The amended statutory instrument is in place. The new regulations are simply there to make further changes, as yet unspecified. No policy reasons for that are put forward in any of the supporting documentation. It is unnecessary, very broad and very worrying.