Clause 20: Financial provision
236 This clause is necessary to allow for payments to be made to the EU for the purposes of complying with any Withdrawal Agreement obligations.
237 Subsection (1) allows payments to be made from the Consolidated Fund (or from the National Loans Fund if so directed by the Treasury) for the purposes of complying with payment obligations provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. all obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement to make payments to the EU or an EU entity, its institutions and projects). The authority to make payments is in the form of a standing service provision.
238 Subsection (2) provides that payments authorised under the standing service provision at subsection (1) will cease on 31 March 2021, with the exception of sums relating to the traditional own resources of the EU.
239 Subsection (3) requires that all sums due to the UK as a result of the Withdrawal Agreement (e.g. the reimbursement to the UK of the paid-in subscribed capital of the European Investment Bank) and received by a Minister of the Crown or a government department are to be paid into the Consolidated Fund, or if the Treasury so determines, the National Loans Fund. Sums received by other recipients (such as businesses, universities or local authorities) from the EU are not captured by this requirement.
240 Subsection (4) authorises expenditure by a Minister of the Crown, government department or devolved authority in anticipation of the exercise of a power to make subordinate legislation conferred or modified by or under the Bill.
241 Subsection (5) is a general proposition that expenditure under the Bill is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament, but does not itself authorise release of funds from the Consolidated Fund or National Loans Fund.
242 Subsection (6) clarifies that subsections (1), (3) and (5) are subject to other enactments. For example, payments required to fulfill the UK’s obligations in relation to the European Development Fund, the European Union Emergency Trust Fund and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey will continue to be paid through a finance authority in the International Development Act 2002. Similarly, where other legislation makes specific provision that requires sums received to be handled differently, these provisions will prevail. Therefore, where EU Regulations applied by the Withdrawal Agreement (for example those governing the management of EU programmes such as the European Regional Development Fund) make specific provisions around the handling of receipts from the EU, these will continue.
243 Subsection (7) provides definitions of the terminology relevant to this section.