Scrutiny of delegated legislation under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: interim report Contents
4Amendments to the Bill
37.Under the system we propose above, the key requirements on Ministers will not lie in legislation, but in a resolution of the House and in amendments to our Standing Orders. Breaches of the resolution—for instance, bringing a negative instrument into force before it has cleared scrutiny—would be monitored by the committee, which should be empowered to require the Minister concerned to give an explanation for any breach in oral evidence.
38.Some statutory provision will be required to support the system we propose. While we do not specify the drafting of any amendment to the Bill, we consider that Schedule 7 to the Bill should be amended to provide that:
a)Ministers shall present to Parliament, alongside each instrument to be made under the Bill, an explanatory memorandum setting out material relevant to the House’s consideration of the instrument, to include:
- an explanation of how each provision of the instrument amends existing law, why each such provision is required and whether each such provision would make a substantial change to the effect of the law;
- for regulations to be made under clause 7 of the Bill, an explanation of how the regulations will correct any failure of retained EU law to operate effectively;
- for regulations to be made under clause 8 of the Bill, an explanation of how the regulations would prevent or remedy any breach of the UK’s international obligations arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and
- for regulations to be made under clause 9 of the Bill, an explanation of why it is necessary for the proposed provision of the withdrawal agreement to be in force before, or on, exit day.
b)The House of Commons may designate a committee to consider each instrument proposed to be made under the powers delegated in the Bill;
c)Ministers shall have regard to the report of such a committee on any such instrument;
d)In respect to a committee report on any such instrument, a Minister shall be under a duty
i)to provide such further information as the committee may require; and
- to revoke and re-make a negative instrument, or to withdraw and re-lay an affirmative instrument, in accordance with the committee’s recommendation, or
- to lay before the House a statement as to why the Minister considers that an instrument subject to negative resolution should nevertheless come into force or an instrument subject to affirmative resolution should be proceeded with in its original form.