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European Community Legislation (Impact) Bill [H.L.]

This is the European Community Legislation (Impact) Bill [H.L.], as introduced in the House of Lords on 31st March 1999.

European Community Legislation (Impact) Bill [H.L.]




Require the provision of information on the impact of European Community legislation.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Report on impact on business of Community legislation.     1. - (1) The Secretary of State shall report annually on the direct and indirect impact on business in the United Kingdom, during the previous financial year, of Community legislation.
      (2) The first report under subsection (1) shall cover the first financial year beginning after the day on which this Act comes into force.
      (3) In subsection (1) "indirect impact" includes the impact of provision made by or under any enactment to give effect to Community legislation.
      (4) Each report under this section shall include-
    (a) a summary of the views of individuals and bodies consulted under section 2(1);
    (b) a summary of representations received in response to arrangements made under section 2(2) during the period referred to in subsection (2)(c) of that section;
    (c) where the impact identified by the Secretary of State or by any individual he has consulted or from whom he has received representations involves increased costs or burdens on business, the Secretary of State's assessment of what steps can and, in his view, should be taken to reduce or offset that impact; and
    (d) in addition to a general assessment of the impact on business in the United Kingdom of Community legislation, separate chapters on the impact on business in-
      (i) Scotland;
      (ii) Wales; and
      (iii) Northern Ireland.
      (5) Each report under this section shall be laid before-
    (a) Parliament;
    (b) the Scottish Parliament;
    (c) the National Assembly for Wales; and
    (d) the Northern Ireland Assembly,
  not later than the end of May following the financial year to which it relates.
Consultation.     2. - (1) Before compiling the report referred to in section 1, the Secretary of State shall consult-
    (a) organisations representing business and industry, including small businesses;
    (b) trades unions;
    (c) organisations representing companies providing financial services;
    (d) registered charities and other non-profit making organisations involved in trade; and
    (e) organisations representing the legal and accountancy professions.
      (2) The Secretary of State shall also make arrangements to ensure that-
    (a) any individual or body may make representations to him concerning the subject-matter of the report;
    (b) public meetings are held throughout the United Kingdom at which such representations may be made to him or his representatives; and
    (c) the opportunity to make representations under this subsection and the period within which they may be made are advertised in such manner as he considers appropriate.
Impact statements.     3. - (1) A Minister of the Crown must, before Second Reading of a Bill in either House of Parliament, make a statement (referred to in this Act as an "impact statement") on which of the Bill's provisions are, in his view, required to give effect to Community legislation, stating in each case the Community legislation concerned.
      (2) Where the Minister considers that none of the provisions of the Bill is required to give effect to Community legislation, he shall make an impact statement to that effect.
      (3) The impact statement must be in writing and be published in such manner as the Minister making it considers appropriate.
Interpretation.     4. In this Act-
    "Community legislation" means any binding legal instrument within the meaning of Article 189 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 249 of that Treaty after the entry into force of the Treaty signed at Amsterdam on 2nd October 1997 amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related Acts); and
    "impact" includes positive and negative impact, impact the net effect of which is neither positive nor negative and impact the effect of which cannot be measured in monetary terms.
Short title and commencement.     5. This Act-
    (a) may be cited as the Community Legislation (Impact) Act 1999; and
    (b) shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.

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Prepared 1 April 1999