Date laid: 27 November 2018
Sifting period ends: 13 December 2018
1.These Regulations, laid by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), propose over more than 90 pages of extensive amendments to EU-retained legislation on the Common Fisheries Policy. Defra states that the instrument proposes the minimum technical changes that are necessary to preserve the status quo and to ensure that fishing within UK waters can continue to be regulated in a sustainable manner. Defra also says that the instrument is not expected to lead to any practical changes for the fisheries industry and that it does not alter the devolution settlements in any way.
2.The Committee notes, however, that the Explanatory Memorandum (EM) fails to provide evidence or examples to demonstrate that the proposed amendments and revocations will not change the way that UK fisheries will be managed and regulated after exit, and that it will not impact adversely on the sector. In addition, the draft Regulations appear to propose the transfer of legislative functions and fee raising powers which could be seen to trigger the requirement under Schedule 7, Part 1, paragraphs 1(2)(a) and (b) of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 for the affirmative resolution procedure to apply to this instrument.
3.The future of the UK fisheries industry is an important and highly sensitive policy area in the process of withdrawing from the EU. Given this significance, and the complexity of the instrument, the EM should provide a clearer rationale for the chosen approach and a more extensive explanation of why the proposed changes do not change policy or impact on the way that UK fisheries will be managed and regulated after exit. The lack of sufficient information in the EM makes effective Parliamentary scrutiny of the draft Regulations difficult. These are issues which the House may wish to explore further during a debate. We therefore recommend that this instrument should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
Date laid: 29 November 2018
Sifting period ends: 18 December 2018
4.The EU Intelligent Transport Systems Directive (“the Directive”) creates the framework for interoperable deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The Directive explains that ITS “… integrate telecommunications, electronics and information technologies with transport engineering in order to plan, design, operate, maintain and manage transport systems. The application of information and communication technologies to the road transport sector and its interfaces with other modes of transport will make a significant contribution to improving environmental performance, efficiency, including energy efficiency, safety and security of road transport ...”. This proposed negative instrument seeks to revoke the EU Regulations and Decisions which have been adopted since the Directive came into force because, according to Department for Transport (DfT), the requirements of the legislation will continue to be met by administrative means. DfT is developing these administrative means, including negotiating future measures with the STREETWISE group, the coordinating body for UK engagement in European-funded ITS deployment and study programmes and has also commissioned a detailed feasibility study. Given that these administrative measures are not yet fully developed, the House may wish to debate this instrument to ensure compliance with the Regulations and the future operability of ITS in the UK. We therefore recommend that this instrument should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
Date laid: 26 November 2018
Sifting period ends: 12 December 2018
5.These Regulations, laid by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as a proposed negative instrument, seek to amend and revoke retained direct EU legislation to ensure that the regulatory regimes for veterinary medicines and residues surveillance can operate and be enforced after the UK leaves the EU. Defra says that the current arrangements ensure that animal welfare and consumer safety are protected. While the draft Regulations largely correct technical deficiencies, they also propose a new requirement on holders of marketing authorisations for veterinary medicines to establish themselves in the UK if they wish to continue to market their medicines after exit. Defra says that this new requirement is needed to ensure that all UK authorisation holders are within the UK’s enforcement jurisdiction and to provide for a level playing field with those holders already established in the UK. The Department expects 90 companies holding a total of 751 authorisations for veterinary medicines to be affected by the new requirement. While the financial and administrative impact on these companies is expected to be small (with an initial cost of £100 per business, followed by annual costs of £40), Defra acknowledges that some companies may choose not to establish themselves in the UK, which potentially could lead to a reduction in the number of veterinary medicines being readily available after exit. The Committee also notes that the expected impact of some of the proposed amendments is unclear, in particular whether or not they lower safety standards in relation to: the import of veterinary medicinal products from third countries; the use by veterinary surgeons of veterinary medicinal products from third countries where none has been authorised in the UK; the import of feeding stuff containing veterinary medicinal products; and the removal of a duty to investigate, in response to specified triggers, whether a prohibited substance has been illegally administered. The Explanatory Memorandum does not provide information on the potential impact of the proposed changes. These are risks and concerns that the House may wish to explore during a debate. We therefore recommend that this instrument should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
1 Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council, [accessed 11 December 2018].