Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 14

Memorandum from the Head of the Legislation Support Unit, Government of Gibraltar, to the Chief Minister, Gibraltar, 9 July 2002


  I am writing to update you as requested, to set out the current position in relation to our transposition of EU directives.

  It is important to place the extent of our recent effort into proper context. Our files reveal that a few weeks following the 1996 general election we surveyed our compliance record and concluded that, in its 24 years of membership of the EU, Gibraltar had only transposed 81 directives.

  You will be pleased to learn that, as at 9 July 2002 we have transposed 323.

  The large historical backlog that prevailed prior to 1996 has been completely eliminated. We now transpose most directives as and when they come into effect. We have no major finance or environmental directive left untransposed—or about to be transposed very shortly—and we have cleared our decks completely of company law directives.

  My draftsmen have a total of 17 directives overdue for transposition. This is one of the lowest figures on record. We expect to clear these by September this year.

  We give the highest priority to directives which are the subject of infractions or threatened infractions. It is certainly true that we are, on rare occasions, the subject of Gibraltar-specific infractions but far more common are infractions against the UK that take in Gibraltar. This is because our legislation is very similar to the UK's in style and content. Therefore if infraction proceedings are taken against the UK based on an alleged deficiency in its legislation that deficiency will also usually affect our legislation.

  In addition to the 17 directives in the process of being actioned by this Unit, a total of 38 have been processed by us and are with Whitehall awaiting comment. A further 35 are with Gibraltar ministers for a policy steer.

Legislation Support Unit

9 July 2002

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