Clause 21: Main power in connection with Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol
253 This clause provides Ministers of the Crown with the power to implement the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (hereafter ‘the Protocol’). To that end, this clause inserts a new section 8C into the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
254 Subsection (1) of new section 8C confers a power on a Minister of the Crown to make legislative changes that they consider are appropriate for the purposes of implementing the Protocol. This includes supplementing the effect of the new section 7A of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (inserted by clause 5 of this Bill) in relation to the Protocol or dealing with matters arising out of, or related to, the Protocol. It also includes giving effect to amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement adopted by the Joint Committee falling within the scope of the particular matters that this power is intended to address.
255 Subsection (2) confirms that the power allows for the regulations made under subsection (1) to make any provision that could be made by an Act of Parliament, including modifying the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, subject to the restrictions specified in subsection (6).
256 Subsection (3) clarifies that the power may be used to make provision facilitating the access of qualifying Northern Ireland goods to the market within Great Britain.
257 Subsection (4) clarifies that regulations made under subsection (3) may, among other things, provide for the recognition within Great Britain of technical regulations, assessments, registrations, certificates, approvals and authorisations issued by the authorities of a Member State or bodies established in a Member State in respect of ‘qualifying Northern Ireland goods’.
258 Subsection (5) clarifies that the power can be used to restate elements of the Protocol that automatically become domestic law via clause 5 of this Bill. This type of restatement can occur where it would be helpful to provide clarity or to make the law more accessible.
259 Subsection (6) places a duty on a Minister of the Crown, to define, in regulations, the term ‘qualifying Northern Ireland goods’ for the purposes of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
260 Subsection (7) defines the Protocol for the purposes of the section as including any other provision of the Withdrawal Agreement that relates to the Protocol, and any provisions of EU law applied by, or referred to in the Protocol, but excludes the second sentence of Article 13(1) of the Protocol.