At its meeting on 1 May 2019 the Committee scrutinised a number of Instruments in accordance with Standing Orders. It was agreed that the special attention of both Houses should be drawn to one of those considered. The Instrument and the grounds for reporting it are given below. The relevant Departmental memorandum, is published as an appendix to this report.
1.1The Committee draws the special attention of both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively drafted in two respects.
1.2In regulation 25(1) of this instrument, sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) refer to a “third country”, and sub-paragraphs (e) to (h) refer to a “non-UK country”. Regulation 25(4) provides a definition of the latter expression but not of the former. In a memorandum printed as an Appendix, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office states that all eight sub-paragraphs should have referred to the latter expression.
1.3Regulation 26(3) provides that a person who contravenes a specified prohibition commits an offence, but it is a defence for a person charged with that offence to show that—[followed by two circumstances listed as (a) and (b)]. The circumstances are not mutually exclusive, so that it is unclear whether it is necessary to show just one of them in order for the defence to apply. The Department states that the intention is that it will be a defence to show either (a) or (b).
1.4The Department apologises for both of these errors and states that it will attempt to correct them with an amending instrument. Since the Committee raised the questions, the Department has corrected the errors (in the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/843)). The Committee accordingly reports regulations 25(1) and 26(3) for defective drafting, now corrected by the Department.
Published: 3 May 2019