Clause 21: Main power in connection with Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol
244 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.
245 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.
246 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.
247 Subsection (3) clarifies that the power may be used to make provision facilitating the access of Northern Ireland goods to the market within Great Britain.
248 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 Northern Ireland goods.
249 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.
250 Subsection (6) contains a power enabling a Minister of the Crown to define, in regulations, the term ‘qualifying Northern Ireland goods’ for the purposes of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
251 Subsection (7) defines the Protocol for the purposes of the section as including any other provision of the Withdrawal Agreement so far as applying to the Protocol, and any provisions of EU law applied by, or referred to in the Protocol, but excludes the second sentence of Article 11(1) of the Protocol.