Forty First Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Electricity and Gas (Powers to Make Subordinate Legislation) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

10.These draft Regulations, laid under section 8(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, propose to amend regulations in relation to electricity and gas markets, with the aim of correcting deficiencies arising from the UK’s exit from the EU. According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the instrument would replace powers to make tertiary legislation that are currently held by the European Commission with powers to make regulations by statutory instrument for the Secretary of State in relation to Great Britain and for the Department for Economy in Northern Ireland. The areas affected by the proposed transfer of powers are so-called European Network Codes and Guidelines which regulate technical aspects of electricity and gas networks and markets; the integrity and transparency of wholesale energy markets (so-called REMIT Regulation), including in relation to prohibitions on market abuse and requirements for public disclosure of inside information; and safeguards which aim to ensure the security of gas supply, including templates for risk assessments and emergency plans and the indicators that are used to measure serious threats to gas supply. We sought further information from BEIS about why it proposes that some of these instruments should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure while others would be negative instruments. We are publishing the Department’s response, which we find satisfactory, at Appendix 2.

Draft Further Education Bodies (Insolvency) Regulations 2018

11.The Department for Education (DfE) has laid these draft Regulations to modify insolvency legislation to enable it to operate effectively in its application by the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (“the 2017 Act”) to further education (FE) corporations and sixth form college corporations. In the Explanatory Memorandum to the Regulations, DfE refers to the financial difficulties that FE colleges have faced in recent years, as the background to the 2017 Act which introduced an insolvency regime for FE and sixth form colleges to address the specific characteristics of the sector. DfE says that, to implement the FE insolvency regime, as well as these draft Regulations, it intends to lay the “Further Education Administration Rules” setting out insolvency rules for a Special Administration Regime called Education Administration. We put questions to DfE both about the possible outcomes if an FE or sixth form college went into the new insolvency regime, and about a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.5 We are publishing the additional information received from DfE at Appendix 3.

Protocol to the agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus (Interbus Agreement) regarding the international regular and special regular carriage of passengers by coach and bus (Cm 9699)6

12.There is currently a multilateral treaty between the European Union and seven other contracting parties (the Interbus Agreement). It allows for occasional coach travel (for example, coach holidays and tours) between the parties. A Protocol to the Agreement, which was opened for signature in in Brussels on 16 July 2018, extends the Interbus Agreement to allow ‘regular’ (that is, scheduled) coach services to take place between the parties and ‘special regular’ services (for example, cross-border services taking specific passengers to school or workplaces). The Interbus Agreement requires contracting parties to apply EU standards (that is, operator licensing, technical vehicle standards, and driving hours etc). The UK is bound by the Interbus Agreement as an EU Member State but continued membership once the UK leaves the EU would require the UK to join in its own right. Whilst the Interbus Agreement largely mirrors the provision that provides for international coach travel within the EU, there are differences. For example, the Agreement does not permit “cabotage” (operation of domestic journeys in one contracting party by an operator based in another). That said, the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the instrument suggests that “Interbus would … be a contingency option for coach travel between the UK and the EU in the event that we left the EU without a negotiated arrangement that provided for international coach travel.”

Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/995)

13.These Regulations implement EU legislation in relation to the Marrakesh Treaty, an international agreement that aims to improve the access visually impaired and print disabled people have to copyright works around the world. All signatories of the Marrakesh Treaty must provide exceptions to copyright to allow for the production of accessible format copies and the transfer of such copies across borders. This instrument amends UK law to ensure existing copyright exceptions for disabled people comply with the requirements of the EU legislation that implements the Marrakesh Treaty. One of the key changes brought forward by the instrument is the removal of the UK’s current “commercial availability” restrictions under which the exceptions from copyright for people with visual impairment only apply when accessible copies in a particular format are unavailable on the commercial market. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consulted groups representing rightsholders on this change and sought views on whether the UK should introduce a compensation scheme. The IPO explains that, as respondents to the consultation were unable to provide sufficient evidence of harm to rightsholders, the Government will not introduce such a scheme.

5 The report claimed that funding per student aged 16–18 had seen “the biggest squeeze of all stages of education for young people in recent years.” See:

6 The agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus (Interbus Agreement)  And Decision No 1/2011 of the Joint Committee established under the Interbus Agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus of 11 November 2011 adopting its rules of procedure and adapting Annex 1 to the Agreement regarding the conditions applying to road passenger transport operators, Annex 2 to the Agreement concerning the technical standards applying to buses and coaches and the requirements concerning the social provisions referred to in Article 8 of the Agreement And The protocol to the agreement on the international occasional carriage of passengers by coach and bus (Interbus Agreement) regarding the international regular and special regular carriage of passengers by coach and bus.

© Parliamentary copyright 2018