Trade Bill

Explanatory Notes

Annex B - Glossary



Act of Parliament

An Act of Parliament is a law that both Houses of Parliament
have agreed to, and which is enforced in all the areas of the UK
where it is applicable.

Affirmative procedure

Under the affirmative procedure a statutory instrument must be approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords to become law. There are two sub-categories of the affirmative procedure in this Bill. Under the draft affirmative procedure, the statutory instrument cannot be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by both Houses. Under the made affirmative procedure, the statutory instrument can be made and come into force before it is debated, but cannot remain in force unless approved by both Houses within one month.


A proposal for a new law or an amendment to an existing law that has been presented to Parliament for consideration. Once agreed and made into law, it becomes an Act.

Coming into force

The process by which an Act of Parliament, secondary
legislation or other legal instrument comes to have legal effect.
The law can be relied upon from the date on which it comes into
force but not any sooner. Also known as commencement.

Devolution settlements

The constitutional arrangements governing which decision making responsibilities and legislation making powers have been devolved and the mechanisms through which these operate.

Devolution statutes (or Acts/legislation)

The principal Acts of Parliament that set out the terms of the devolution settlements. These are the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and the Government of Wales Act 2006. ‘Devolution legislation’ may refer either to the devolution statutes or to the statues together with the secondary legislation made under them.

Devolved administrations

The governments of the devolved nations of the UK. These are the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Devolved competence

The areas in which the devolved legislatures are responsible for making laws (‘legislative competence’) or the devolved administrations are responsible for governing or making secondary legislation (‘executive competence’).

Devolved institutions

Used to refer collectively to both the devolved administrations and the devolved legislatures.

Devolved legislatures

The law making bodies of the devolved nations of the UK. These are the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

European Commission

The Commission is the main executive body of the EU. It has
general executive and management functions. In most cases
it has the sole right to propose EU legislation. In many areas
it negotiates international agreements on behalf of the EU
and represents the EU in international organisations. And the
Commission also oversees and enforces the application of
Union law, in particular by initiating infraction proceedings where it considers that a member state has not complied with its EU obligations. See Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 244 to 250 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Negative procedure

A statutory instrument under the negative procedure will become law once made without debate unless there is an objection from either House.

Secondary legislation

Legal instruments (including regulations and orders) made under powers delegated to ministers or other office holders in Acts of Parliament. They have the force of law but can be disapplied by a court if they do not comply with the terms of their parent Act. Also called subordinate or delegated legislation.

Statutory instrument

A form of secondary legislation to which the Statutory
Instruments Act 1946 applies.


Prepared 10th November 2017