Twenty Fourth Report Contents

Twenty Fourth Report

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Further Government Amendments

1.We reported on this Bill in our 12th Report of this Session.1 On 23 April, in our 23rd Report of this Session we reported on various Government amendments.2 Later on 23 April, the Government tabled further amendments, supported others and published a further supplementary delegated powers memorandum.3 We wish to draw the attention of the House to a number of the amendments.4

Amendment 47A—clause 8

2.In our 12th Report5 we were critical of the width of the delegated power contained in clause 8 (regulations in relation to international obligations). We welcome amendment 47A, which removes clause 8 from the Bill.

Amendment 53—clause 9

3.The Government have added their support to amendment 53, which removes the ability of Ministers to make regulations under clause 9 to amend or repeal the European Union (Withdrawal) Act itself. We welcome the Government’s support of amendment 53, which gives effect to a recommendation in our 12th Report.6

Amendments 72F, 72G and 72H—Schedule 4

4.We welcome amendments 72F, 72G and 72H, which give effect to our recommendation7 that the affirmative procedure should apply to all regulations relating to fees and charges made under Schedule 4. Amendment 72G inserts an acceptable proviso that the negative procedure can apply where the amounts are merely uprated to take account of inflation.

Amendments 75A and 75B—clause 17

5.In our 12th Report,8 we recommended that regulations under clause 17(1) and (5), other than those which amend or repeal primary legislation and which should be affirmative, should be subject to a sifting mechanism. Currently regulations made under clause 17(1) can only ever be made by the negative procedure. Amendments 75A and 75B allow for regulations made under clause 17(1) to be made under the affirmative procedure where Ministers, in their absolute discretion, take the view that the affirmative procedure should apply or (again in their absolute discretion) where they accept a recommendation from a scrutiny committee to upgrade the negative procedure to the affirmative procedure under the Government’s preferred sifting mechanism.

6.Although we welcome the Government’s acceptance of the principle that regulations under clause 17(1) are able to be made under the affirmative procedure, this is no substitute for amendment 70, which gives effect to the sifting mechanism that we recommended in our 12th and 23rd Reports of this Session and which differs significantly from the version of the sifting mechanism currently found in Schedule 7.9

Amendment 86A—clause 17

7.Amendment 86A states that no regulations may be made under clause 17(1) (consequential amendments) after the period of 10 years beginning with exit day. While this is an improvement on having no sunset provision at all in clause 17, amendment 86A is no substitute for amendment 86, which gives effect to our recommendation10 that the power to make consequential provision conferred by clause 17(1) should be governed by a test of necessity rather than by what the Minister regards as appropriate.

Amendment 104A—Schedule 4

8.Amendment 104A adds a partial sunset clause to regulations imposing fees or charges under Schedule 4, bringing it more into line with the two-year sunset provision found in clause 7(8).

9.While we welcome amendment 104A as an improvement on having no sunset provision at all in Schedule 4, we welcome it as an addition to (rather than a substitution for) amendment 104, which gives effect to the recommendation in our 12th Report11 that taxation, including tax-like charges, should not be possible in regulations made under Schedule 4.


1 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (12th Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 73)

2 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (23rd Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 124)

3 Department for Exiting the European Union, European Union (Withdrawal) Bill supplementary Delegated Powers Memorandum (3)

4 The amendments are published in the Marshalled List, available on www.parliament.uk

5 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (12th Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 73), paras 17–20

6 Ibid., para 23

7 Ibid., para 47

8 Ibid., para 39

9 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (12th Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 73),
paras 56 and 58; Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, (23rd Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 124), paras 4–8

10 Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (12th Report, Session 2017–19, HL Paper 73), para 37

11 Ibid., para 45. See also our 23rd Report, paras 2–3.




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