EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT ) BILL

Explanatory Notes

Clause 18: Main power in connection with other separation issues

232 This clause, inserted as new section 8B of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, provides Ministers of the Crown with a power to implement the Other Separation Issues, which form Part 3 of the Withdrawal Agreement and Part 3 of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. Ministers can only use this power in connection with those Parts. It is designed to enable implementation of the Other Separation Issues in domestic law and to supplement the effect of new section 7A and new section 7B.

233 Subsection (1) provides Ministers with the power to make legislative changes which they consider appropriate for the purposes of implementing Part 3 of the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes supplementing the effect of the new section 7A of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in relation to Part 3, or dealing with matters arising out of, or related to, Part 3. This includes giving effect to amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement adopted by the Joint Committee in relation to Part 3.

234 Subsection (2) provides Ministers with an equivalent power to make legislative changes which they consider appropriate for the purposes of implementing Part 3 of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. This includes supplementing the effect of the new section 7B of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in relation to Part 3, or dealing with matters arising out of, or related to, Part 3.

235 Subsection (3) provides that secondary legislation made under this power is capable of doing anything an Act of Parliament can do, subject to the restrictions specified in subsection (5).

236 Subsection (4) clarifies that the power can be used to restate elements of Part 3 of the Withdrawal Agreement and of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement that automatically become domestic law via the new section 7A and 7B. This type of restatement can be made where it would be helpful to provide clarity or to make the law more accessible.

237 Subsection (5) places a series of restrictions on the power, stating what it cannot do. The power cannot be used to impose or increase taxation or fees, make retrospective provision, create a relevant criminal offence, establish a public authority, amend, repeal or revoke the Human Rights Act 1998 (nor legislation made under it), or amend or repeal the Scotland Act 1998, the Government of Wales Act 2006 or the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (unless the regulations are made by virtue of paragraph 21(b) of Schedule 7 to the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 or are amending or repealing any provision of those Acts which modifies another enactment).

238 Subsection (6) defines references to Part 3 of the Withdrawal Agreement and of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement as including references to any provisions of EU law applied by or referred to in that Part.

239 The scrutiny procedures for this power are set out in Schedule 5.

 

Prepared 22nd October 2019