Explanatory Notes

Clause 36: Repeal of unnecessary or spent enactments

327 Clause 36 provides for the repeal of unnecessary or spent enactments passed in the previous Parliament in relation to the UK’s exit from the EU.

328 Subsection (a) repeals section 9 of EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 which gives Ministers of the Crown a power to make secondary legislation to implement the withdrawal agreement agreed between the UK and the EU under Article 50(2) of the TEU. This power, which expires on exit day, is redundant and no longer necessary in light of this Bill which will implement the withdrawal agreement.

329 Subsection (b) repeals the duties under sections 16 and 18 of EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 which have been fulfilled. Section 16 required the Secretary of State to publish draft legislation (and a policy statement) containing requirements relating to environmental principles within 6 months of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 receiving Royal Assent. The draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill 2018 and statement of policy was published in December 2018. Section 18 required a Minister of the Crown to lay before each House of Parliament a written a statement outlining the steps taken by the Government, in negotiations to withdraw from the EU, to seek to negotiate an agreement to participate in a customs arrangement as part of the framework for the UK’s future relationship with the EU before the end of 31 October 2018. This statement was published on 25 October 2018. As these duties have been fulfilled these provisions are now redundant and are therefore being repealed.

330 Subsection (c) repeals section 19 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This section makes clear that nothing in that Act prevents the UK from replicating EU law in domestic law made on or after exit day, or from continuing to participate in, or have a formal relationship with, agencies of the EU after exit day. However, this provision has no legal effects in practice and is therefore unnecessary so is being repealed.

331 Subsection (d) repeals Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which provides a corresponding power to section 9 given to the devolved authorities to implement the withdrawal agreement. It is being repealed for the same reason as the repeal of section 9.

332 Subsection (e) repeals the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 which required the Government to request an extension of the period in Article 50(3) of the TEU and seek parliamentary approval for the agreed extension date. The principal duties in connection with the Article 50 extension have been spent and no longer have any legal effect so are being repealed. Para 65 of Schedule 5 to this Bill saves the amendment which was made by section 2 of this Act to the procedure for section 20(4) of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to make regulations amending the definition of exit day.

333 Subsection (f) repeals the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 which required the Prime Minister to seek an extension of the period under Article 50(3) TEU by 19 October 2019 in certain circumstances. It also placed requirements on the Government to report on the progress of negotiations on the UK’s relationship with the EU. The principal duty in the Act of seeking an extension by 19 October 2019 has been fulfilled and no longer has any legal effect so is being repealed. The remaining reporting and parliamentary debate obligations are also being repealed as these are no longer necessary. Para 65 of Schedule 5 to this Bill saves the amendment which was made by section 4 of this Act to section 20(4) of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which provides for regulations to be made amending the definition of exit day.

 

Prepared 19th December 2019