Explanatory Notes

Lords Amendments to Schedule 3: Further amendments of devolution legislation

Lords Amendments 85 to 87 and 96

93 Lords Amendments 85 to 87 and 96 would make equivalent provision in relation to devolved executive competence to that which Lords Amendment 26 would make in relation to devolved legislative competence.

94 This would remove the general limit on devolved executive competence to modify retained EU law by subordinate legislation, and introduce powers to apply targeted and time-limited restrictions in specific areas. These restrictions would be specified in regulations made by a Minister of the Crown, and only where the UK Government has sought to agree the application of the restrictions with the relevant devolved legislature and the regulations have been approved by both Houses of Parliament.

95 The restrictions on competence would not apply to regulations made by devolved authorities under the powers in Schedule 2 or 4.

Lords Amendment 88

96 Lords Amendment 88 would create a requirement for a Minister of the Crown to report to Parliament every three months from Royal Assent of the Bill on:

a. steps taken towards replacing the powers to limit devolved competence in relation to retained EU law and any regulations made under them with future arrangements;

b. how the principles agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations in October 2017 have been taken into account;

c. regulations made to repeal the powers to limit devolved competence in relation to retained EU law;

d. progress that needs to be made before the remaining powers and regulations can be repealed or revoked; and

e. any other information that the Minister considers to be appropriate to report.

97 The Minister would also be required to provide a copy of the report to each of the devolved administrations.

Lords Amendment 89, 99 and 101

98 Lords Amendments 89, 99 and 101 would address the deficiency in the reservation of ‘technical standards and requirements in relation to products in pursuance of obligations under EU law’ in the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006, which will arise once EU law ceases to have effect in the UK

99 The amendments would ensure that the reservation continues to operate correctly after exit day, and that the existing boundaries of devolved competence are preserved when EU law ceases to apply. Those standards subject to the current reservation will continue to be a reserved matter, including as they may be modified from time to time. Areas in which the devolved institutions can legislate in addition to EU technical standards will remain within devolved competence.

100 The revised reservations would continue to be subject to the exemptions that apply to the current reservation, for example food, agricultural and horticultural produce will remain exempt.

Lords Amendments 90 and 91

101 Lords Amendments 90 and 91 would remove the provisions inserting scrutiny procedures into the Scotland Act 1998 for the Order in Council procedures that Lords Amendments 26 and 85 would remove from the Bill, and replace them with provisions to insert scrutiny procedures for the new regulation making powers created by those amendments.

102 This would mean that the powers to limit Scottish legislative and executive competence in relation to retained EU law would be subject to the affirmative procedure (defined in the Scotland Act 1998 as the ‘Type C’ procedure), requiring approval of both Houses of Parliament before they can be made.

Lords Amendments 92, 98 and 100

103 Lords Amendments 92, 98 and 100 would require a Minister of the Crown to publish written statements when laying regulations under the powers in subsections 11(2), 11(3A) and 11(3C) and Part 1 of Schedule 3, except where those regulations only relate to the revocation of regulations specifying where a limit on competence will apply.

104 In all cases a Minister of the Crown would be required to make a statement explaining the effect of the regulations. In cases where devolved consent for the regulations has not been given, they must also make a statement explaining why it is appropriate to proceed without consent and provide Parliament with any statement provided by the relevant devolved administration giving that administration’s opinion why consent has not been given.

Lords Amendment 93 and 94

105 Lords Amendments 93 and 94 would remove redundant references to European parliamentary elections, to the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002, and to the UK as an EU member state from the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Lords Amendment 95

106 Lords Amendment 95 would update a cross-reference in the Government of Wales Act 2006 to clarify that restrictions on the powers of Welsh Ministers in addition to those applied by subsection 80(8) of that Act, also apply to the First Minister of Wales and the Counsel General of Wales.

Lords Amendment 97

107 Lords Amendment 97 would remove a redundant cross-reference in the Government of Wales Act 2006 to a provision of that Act regarding legal references to the European Courts of Justice, which would be removed by the Bill.


Prepared 22nd May 2018