Twenty Sixth Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Prevention of Trade Diversion (Key Medicines) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

30.These draft Regulations propose amendments to retained EU law on the control of imports of certain medicines, referred to as “tiered-priced products”. This system aims to ensure that the poorest developing countries have access to affordable essential medicines for the treatment of communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Under this system, medicines are sold to developing countries at heavily reduced prices, while their diversion to other, richer markets is prevented through safeguards, including certain criteria which medicines must fulfil to be placed on the list of tiered-priced products. The Department for International Trade explains that the amendments in this instrument seek to ensure that the tiered-priced products system can operate effectively after the end of the Implementation Period. The Committee welcomes this continuity approach.

Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/903)

31.The Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (“AGFS”) is the fee scheme through which criminal defence advocates are paid for carrying out publicly funded work in the Crown Court. The Litigators’ Graduated Fee Scheme (“LGFS”) similarly ensures criminal litigators are paid for carrying out publicly funded work in the Crown Court. This instrument amends the AGFS and the LGFS to alter the way in which:

32.In consultation some measures were supported and some not.20 In light of the evidence provided by litigators on sending cases to the Crown Court, the Government decided to increase the payment from two hours’ worth of work to four hours, and will now make payment under the magistrates’ court scheme: we regard this as an example of good consultation practice.

Waste (Circular Economy) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/904)

33.This instrument transposes six amending EU Directives in relation to the 2020 Circular Economy Package (CEP) into UK domestic law. The areas covered include landfill of waste, end-of-life vehicles, electrical and electronic equipment, hazardous waste, batteries and accumulators, packaging and packaging waste. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the CEP package introduces a “revised legislative framework, identifying steps for the reduction of waste and establishing an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling”. The UK, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments published a statement in July, explaining their approach to transposing the CEP requirements.21 The amendments in this instrument include the alignment of definitions, terms and powers as well as measures to tackle specific waste issues. This includes measures to prevent waste generation and to monitor implementation; to ensure that waste collected separately for preparing for re-use or recycling is not incinerated or landfilled; and to ensure that unlawfully mixed hazardous waste is separated where that is technically feasible, with economic viability of separation no longer being a consideration. The Committee has received a submission from Green Alliance asking questions about timeliness and a potential transposition gap. We are publishing Green Alliance’s submission and Defra’s response on our website.22

Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2020 (SI 2020/915)

Channel Tunnel (Arrangements with the Kingdom of the Netherlands) Order 2020 (SI 2020/916)

34.The UK currently operates its border controls in France and Belgium for trains using the Channel Tunnel. This allows Border Force officers to conduct immigration, and in some locations, policing and goods checks, on passengers and freight destined for the UK before they begin their journey. This is a reciprocal arrangement, with French officers completing entry checks at certain ports in the UK on passengers and freight destined for continental Europe. These Regulations implement a revision of the 1993 Agreement between France, Belgium and the United Kingdom that underpins the operation of juxtaposed immigration controls on international passenger rail services. They also implement provisions of a new bilateral treaty with the Netherlands to extend the regime to all four countries accessible by Eurostar.

Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (Cessation of Transitory Provision) Order 2020 (SI 2020/927)

35.To ensure that the people of Northern Ireland continued to receive the same benefits as those in Great Britain during the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, from January 2017 the Department for Work and Pensions exercised temporary powers on social security matters under Article 4(1) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015. This instrument specifies that, from 23 September 2020, those powers will cease and such statutory instruments will then be the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Department.


19 A criminal trial is described as ‘cracked’ where a trial date has been set but the defendant pleads guilty on the day, or the prosecution has no evidence to give. This means that, although all the preparatory work has been done, the case is resolved without a trial.

20 MoJ, Criminal Legal Aid Review: An accelerated package of measures amending the criminal legal aid fee schemes (21 August 2020): https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/criminal-legal-aid-review-an-accelerated-package-of-measures-amending-the-criminal-legal-aid-fee-schemes [accessed 10 September 2020].

21 Defra, Circular Economy Package policy statement (30 July 2020): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-economy-package-policy-statement/circular-economy-package-policy-statement [accessed 10 September 2020].

22 Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, Publications page: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/255/secondary-legislation-scrutiny-committee/publications/.




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