Brexit publishing

Report from Gareth Vaughan, TSO Bibliographics.

Brexit Publishing.

All the information that we have been receiving is from Department for Exiting the European Union via TNA and is treated as confidential and it all relates to EU Exit legislation that would need to be published before “exit day” which may or may not be 29 March.

There have not have been any discussions on what the picture will look like after “exit day” (if we do exit).

If we do exit then in addition to UK legislation to amend, we will inherit a very large number of EU legislation that will become “UK adopted” and will also have to be amended using Sis.

The link below maybe useful in setting out the process regarding the publishing of Sis and is prepared by the Hansard Society:

https://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/blog/westminster-lens-brexit-statutory-instruments-dashboard

This is the table of contents to the above and I have appended some of the provisional answers to the questions set out below. Fuller answers are contained on the website:

  1. How many Brexit Statutory Instruments does the government plan to lay before Parliament? – Government ministers initially said that they expected to lay between 800 and 1,000 now revised down to 600
  2. How many Brexit SIs has the government laid before Parliament so far? – 475 Brexit-related SIs have been laid since the EU (Withdrawal) Act received Royal Assent on 26 June 2018. Of these: 342 have been laid using powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 only; 71 have been laid using powers in other Acts of Parliament; 62 have been laid using a combination of powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and in other Acts of Parliament
  3. How many Brexit SIs are being laid before Parliament each week? – 90% of the time available to lay the SIs before exit day has now elapsed; but only 79% of the minimum number of SIs the government says are needed for Brexit have been laid before Parliament. Under the second revised target of 600 SIs, an average of 15 SIs had to be laid in each of those 40 weeks
  4. What is the average length in pages of a Brexit SI each month? – 9,218 pages of legislation have been created by the 466 Brexit SIs laid before Parliament to date. The average length of a Brexit SI is 19 pages
  5. Which Brexit SIs have completed their parliamentary scrutiny? – Of the 475 Brexit SIs laid before Parliament so far, only 247 (52%) have completed their passage through Parliament
  6. Which government departments are laying the most Brexit SIs?17 ministerial departments; 3 public bodies (Government Equalities Office, Intellectual Property Office and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency); non-ministerial department (HM Revenue & Customs)
  7. Which Acts of Parliament are being used to lay Brexit SIs? – In addition to the EU (Withdrawal) Act, powers in 41 other Acts of Parliament have been used to lay 133 Brexit Sis
  1. How many Brexit SIs amend Acts of Parliament?125 of the 475 Brexit SIs laid before Parliament make amendments to Acts of Parliament
  2. What powers and scrutiny procedures are being used to lay the SIs? – Of the 404 SIs laid using powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 – 219 have been laid as proposed negative SIs and are subject to the parliamentary committee sifting process created under schedule 7 of the Act
  3. What progress is being made by the parliamentary sifting committees? – The new House of Commons European Statutory Instruments Committee (ESIC) and the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) are tasked with ‘sifting’ proposed negative SIs laid using powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act
  4. How many proposed negative SIs have been upgraded?61 proposed negative SIs have been recommended for upgrade to the affirmative procedure by the sifting committees
  5. Statutory Instrument Tracker: learn about the tool that helps inform the Brexit SI Dashboard – see site

Definition: Negative SIs = Made negative is the term used to describe an SI that is laid after it has been made into law (signed by the minister). It will remain law unless a prayer motion is passed by either House (or the Commons only for certain SIs on financial matters) within 40 sitting days. If that happens, the SI is no longer law. Made negatives generally do not come into force for at least 21 days after the SI is laid.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is passed the above legislative process will continue.

Legislation Required for No-Deal Brexit

If there is no deal this also requires legislation to ensure the UK has measures in place to replace EU legislation, which will no longer apply.

There are 13 Bills and draft Bills associated with the process of exiting the EU. Parliament has enacted five of these: 

European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018;
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018;
Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018;
Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018;
Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018. 

The remaining eight Bills are:

Trade Bill 2017-19 – sets up the Trade Remedies Authority which will protect UK business against unfair trade by other countries. If the Bill is not passed Government will need to implement contingency plans.

Agriculture Bill 2017-19 – sets framework for a seven-year agricultural transition period moving from the current Common Agricultural Policy arrangements towards brand new policy and payment approaches in England and Wales

Fisheries Bill 2017-19 – In a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, the UK would become an independent coastal state from March 2019. It would no longer be subject to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and would take over responsibility for its Exclusive Economic Zone

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 it repeals retained EU law relating to free movement and brings EEA nationals and their families under UK immigration control; it protects the status of Irish citizens in UK immigration law once their free movement rights end; and it makes provision regarding retained EU law governing social security coordination

Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill 2017-19 – The Government has indicated that this Bill is required because at present the Secretary of State does not have specific powers to give effect to healthcare arrangements for overseas health care

Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill [HL] 2017-19 – Most financial services regulation is currently done at the EU level. This Bill enables the Treasury to make corresponding or similar provisions in UK law to upcoming EU financial services legislation. If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, without this Bill, there will be no mechanism through which financial services regulation can be updated

And 2 draft bill  Environmental Principles and Governance Bill 2017-19 and the Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill 

Parliament webpage on Brexit & legislation https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/eu-referendum/legislation/

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