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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Westminster Lens: Brexit Statutory Instruments dashboard

Is the government on track to meet its legislative target of at least 800 Statutory Instruments by exit day? How many Brexit SIs are being laid before Parliament each week? Which departments are laying the most SIs? Which Acts of Parliament are being used to lay them? How many SIs actually amend Acts of Parliament? How is Parliament scrutinising the legislation? Find out the answers to these questions and more on this  new data dashboard produced by the Hansard Society.

 

The public and Parliament: more engaged, less satisfied – Hansard Society audit

One of the most positive findings for Parliament is that a clear majority believes that it is essential “to our democracy” (73% – equaling 2016’s record score).

However, people do not think that parliament is doing a good job for them. Fewer than a third of people were satisfied with the way that parliament works, and not many more think parliament is doing a good job of representing their interests (38%).

Knowledge of parliament fell in the latest study; 45% claimed to know a great deal or a fair amount about parliament, down from 52% last year. This is similar to the level of knowledge about politics in general (49%) and the European Union (43%).

Increasing engagement with parliament
There were positive indicators around engagement with Parliament: overall just over half the public say they have engaged with Parliament in some way in the last year – a ten point increase from 2015. Also:

  • The proportion of the public who report watching or listening to a parliamentary debate or committee meeting (online, on TV or on radio) has increased from 31% to 39%
  • The number saying they have signed an e-petition is up from 15% to 22%
  • 12% contacted an MP or Peer with their views.

Some if this could be down to the seismic political events of the past year – public interest in Brexit and high-profile e-petitions on topics like Donald Trump’s proposed state visit will have increased people’s appetite to engage.

Arguably the most positive indicator in the study is the score on certainty to vote. 59% of respondents said that they would be certain to vote in an immediate general election. This is the highest recorded score in the 14 years of the Audit (joint with 2016). We won’t have to wait long to see if this is borne out.

Engagement by age
The overall message of this year’s report could be “increasingly engaged, but not satisfied”. However, looking at the data for younger people, the picture is bleaker. Variables on engagement, knowledge and effectiveness all show lower scores for younger age groups.

Other data used within chapter 2 of our briefing on political engagement shows a similar pattern – in December 2015, 67% of 20-24 year olds were registered to vote, compared with 93% of 55-64 year olds. IPSOS-Mori estimate that turnout of 18-24 year olds was 43% at the 2015 General Election, compared with 77% for 55-64 year olds.

The test
Arguably, the key indicator for engagement with politics and parliament is turnout at a general election. In 2015, turnout across the UK was 66%, slightly up on 2010, but still well below levels seen in the 20th Century.

The Audit provides some grounds for optimism; a record percentage were certain to vote. But again, this score varies significantly by age, from around two in five for 18-24 year olds, to four in five for over 65s. There are also large variations by social grade (ABs are most certain to vote), by qualification level and by income.

There will be many groups working to encourage participation in June’s general election; the challenge for them is not just whether they can increase overall turnout, but also whether they can increase participation among the young and other less politically engaged groups. If we accept that politics and Parliament are more effective when they represent the views of all constituents, Parliament too has a job to do encouraging everyone to register to vote. It is likely that if you are reading a Commons Library blog post you’re probably already going to vote in June, but perhaps someone you know isn’t. The deadline to register is 22nd May – please motivate someone you know to register and use their vote.

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  • Founded in 1944, the Hansard Society is a non-partisan research and education charity working in the UK and around the world to promote democracy and strengthen parliaments.
  • The information in this year’s Audit of Political Engagement is based on a Political Engagement Poll undertaken by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Hansard Society. The findings are based on a total of 1,771 face-to-face interviews with adults aged 18+ conducted between 2 December 2016 and 15 January 2017, which have then been weighted to the national population profile of Great Britain. This is the 14th year of the Audit, which began in 2004.
  • During the general election campaign, the Commons Library will not be publishing new briefings; Parliament’s Participation team will be encouraging people to register, to cast their vote on the 8 June and to continue to engage with Parliament following the election.

Picture credit: The British Parliament and Big Ben by MauriceCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0)

 

New data shows why parliamentary scrutiny is not fit for purpose as the Great Repeal Bill looms

westminster-lens-2015-16-cover

Promises to ‘take back control’ and ‘reclaim parliamentary sovereignty’ have dominated the Brexit debate. But as the Great Repeal Bill looms, new data published today shows why scrutiny procedures for delegated legislation are not fit for purpose and why, if they are not reformed, the Brexit process will enhance the power of the government rather than Parliament. Launching our Westminster Lens data project, this report examines the delegated legislation process in the 2015-16 session – including new data on controversial Henry VIII powers – and challenges a number of assertions made about the process by Ministers and Members of both Houses alike.