Explanatory Notes

Territorial extent and application

65 Clause 18 sets out the territorial extent of the Bill, that is, the legal jurisdictions of which the Bill forms part of the law. The extent of a Bill can be different from its application. Territorial application is about where a Bill produces a practical effect rather than where it forms part of the law.

66 The Bill extends and applies to the whole of the UK. In addition, repeals and amendments made by the Bill have the same territorial extent as the legislation that they are repealing or amending. For example, the ECA extends to and applies in Gibraltar and the three Crown Dependencies in a limited way. This means its repeal extends to those jurisdictions to the same extent. Regulations made under powers in the Bill may have extraterritorial effect where they are being used to amend legislation which already produces a practical effect outside the UK.

67 The Bill also repeals other Acts which extend to Gibraltar, namely the European Union Act 2011 , the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 and the European Parliament (Representation) Act 2003 . These Acts will be repealed in respect of Gibraltar as well as the UK, and the powers in clauses 7 and 17 will be capable of making provision for Gibraltar as a consequence of those main repeals.

68 The UK Parliament does not normally legislate within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly without the consent of the legislature concerned. It is also the practice of the Government to seek the consent of the devolved legislatures for provisions which would alter the competence of those legislatures or of the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

69 The Government will therefore seek legislative consent for the following provisions of the Bill:

The preservation and conversion of EU law, because some areas in which laws are being preserved and converted would be within devolved competence.

The replication of the EU law limit on the devolved institutions and the power to vary that limit, because this will alter the competence of the devolved institutions.

The conferral on the devolved administrations of the power to make corrections to the law, the power to implement a withdrawal agreement, the power to implement international obligations, as well as the power to incur preparatory expenditure and the powers to impose and modify fees and charges as this will also alter the competence of the devolved administrations or give them the power to act in relation to devolved matters.

The repeal of the ECA, as the devolution statutes refer to the ECA (via the Interpretation Act 1978) to impose an EU law limit on devolved competence, a limit that the repeal of the ECA will alter.

70 See the table in Annex A for a summary of the position regarding territorial extent and application in the UK. The table also summarises the position regarding legislative consent motions and matters relevant to Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83X of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons relating to Public Business.


Prepared 13th July 2017