Another Brexit dividend, the return of the Apple Snail?

I have recently become aware of a new reason for doing Brexit. If you are a keen aquarist in the UK you might in the past have kept a few Apple Snails, to keep the glass clean. They munch up all the algae and reduce the maintenance work. They are no longer sold in the UK and this is because of the EU. Yes, those meddling eurocrats in Brussels have banned snails! After Brexit we can have our clean aquaria back again if we want, as Merlin777 put it:

“I’m looking for something that will help keep the algae down and add some interest — either colourful, stripey, active etc. I used to have golden apple snails which were ideal because they were colourful and entertaining with their antics but I understand they are being phased out thanks to those silly EU people. (Maybe we’ll get them unbanned after brexit?).”

It turns out that this really is a thing, it is true, and we could indeed decide to have cleaner tanks after Brexit, but lets dig into this issue a little deeper and find out how silly those EU people really are.

The EU have issued a decision banning imports of apple snails. This will on the face of it become retained EU law after Brexit, and we can then repeal it if we want to. The reason apple snails are banned is because they can be a particularly devastating invasive species if released into the wild. They eat macrophytes which has knock on effects that are not good. We can however relax, they would just die in our cold British water, their lifecycle requires a fairly narrow band of temperatures for the eggs and adults to thrive. The EU commissioned a study (probably with some Horizon 2020 funding) based on 25km grid squares across Europe to see where the areas with a microclimate that might support these snails are located.


See, we are fine! The map shows exactly where these slimy little bastards can survive, and it is nowhere near the UK. The UK has no reason whatsoever to fear the shell suited migrant molluscs with an EU ASBO. This is a clear example of an EU law that we have to comply with in the UK, just for the benefit of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.

The free circulation of goods in the internal market is why we can’t have nice things, like clean newt tanks. There is no way that the EU could ban snail egg contaminated products from just the specific risk areas. In Brexit UK we totally could make our own apple snail rule, allowing for sparkly clean tanks, and we could relax inspections on imported products from places with Apple snails, but if we did that we can’t also have an open border with the EU — they can’t let our slack snail attitude risk introduction of an invasive species around the Mediterranean. There would have to be phytosanitary inspections on all plant imports to the EU from the UK to check risky plants for eggs of the dastardly snails.

So, it is rational to decide that there is potential of a clear Brexit dividend to the aquaria of the UK, but this has to be weighed up against the costs associated with the same change. If our environment secretary Michael Gove decides that the future is cold blooded and slithery he could well decide that a bespoke policy for the UK doesn’t need to follow this EU rule. That wouldn’t be the EU erecting a barrier between us and them — it just means we step to the other side of the barrier that is already there.

You might also note that this issue has got nothing to do with tariffs, or being in a customs union or the customs union. It is an issue of regulatory alignment, as our laws diverge we take a step outside of the barriers to trade that we helped to construct. If Northern Ireland is to have no hard border with Ireland we need to have alignment — and a mechanism for maintaining alignment as changes occur. Any future plans you might hear over the next few weeks in the series of speeches that doesn’t sound like it preserves the snail ban is a non-starter.

Apple Snails are freshwater, so Gary probably isn’t one.

EU Notices about Brexit

Thanks to the utterly stupid letter David Davis sent to the Prime Minister whining about the EU preparing for Brexit it seems that our media has woken up to all the stuff that it was their job to notice last month. For some reason newspapers never seem to link to primary sources, they just quote and paraphrase from documents, if you want more than a summary you have to go digging. These are the notices that I am aware of, several of which I read when they were released, some I found today. Let me know if I missed any, the FT thinks there are about 15, with a bit of help I found 18 so far.

  • Trade marks
  • Road Transport
  • Air Transport
  • Civil Justice & Private International Law
  • Marketing authorisations for medical products for human and animal use
  • Data Protection
  • Company law
  • Mineral Water
  • Plant protection and pesticides
  • Biocides
  • Genetically modified food and organisms
  • Plant breeders
  • Seafarers
  • Animal breeders
  • Blood, tissue, cells and organs
  • Slaughterhouses and fur farms
  • Transport of live animals
  • Industrial products imports and distribution
  • Public Procurement

https://euipo.europa.eu/tunnel-web/secure/webdav/guest/document_library/contentPdfs/news/Brexit_preparedness_notice_on_IP.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/2017-12-11-notice-to-stakeholders-road-transport.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/2017-12-11-notice-to-stakeholders-air-transport.pdfhttp://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Other/2017/05/WC500226603.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/labelling-nutrition_mineral-waters_notice_business_operators_comm-art50_brexit_20171012.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/plant/docs/pesticides_notice_business_operators-art50_201709.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/biocides/docs/brexit_note_en.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/plant/docs/gmo_notice_business_operators-art50_201709.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/plant/docs/ppr_legis_letter_comm-cpvo-art50_20170707.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/2017-12-11-notice-to-stakeholders-seafarer-qualifications.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/zootechnics_brexit_notice_to_breeders.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/blood_tissues_organs/docs/2017_btc_brexit_en.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/aw_brexit_notice_slaughter.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/aw_brexit_notice_transporters.pdfhttps://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/27241/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/nativehttps://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/27347/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native

The Amendments to the Withdrawal Bill

There are 191 pages of amendments to the withdrawal bill. Each one is a little patch to apply to the bill as introduced and they don’t make exciting reading. For each one there is a small statement of what they are trying to do, like a pull request there is a description and the diff. There is a big ass PDF file produced of all the amendments, which are freeform lists of what to change. The MPs will then chat about them for 8 days and vote on some of them, spending 15 minutes for each disputed vote as they walk through the lobbies after ringing the bell to drag people out of the pub (really), it is spectacularly inefficient.

The amendment document is fairly consistent, and might well be the output of some kind of document management system but there are no useful tags I could see in the HTML or PDF outputs. Our democracy would be better if the legislature used something structured like Git, but they don’t. Lets add Git for laws to the list of things we could have done instead of Brexit that would improve our democracy without anyone getting hurt. The numbering of the amendments is almost completely incomprehensible, but I extracted the explanatory statements with some tools, this was the key command:

pdf2txt euwithdrawal_daily_cwh_1113.pdf|sed -n ‘/Member’s explanatory statement/,/^$/p’

I then did a bit of massaging of the output with a text editor (mostly to fix spacing and line breaks). I think some amendments might have more than one paragraph of explanation, and some might be mangled by unfortunate page breaks, please do comment if you spot any errors and I will update the list. As far as I can see, none of the amendments address my previously stated concerns. It still won’t explain where the authoritative version of retained EU law will be lodged, and they will go through the whole process of approving this bill without demonstrating that it works on a single complete example of an EU regulation and none of them challenge the assertion that we can process 120 regulations per week for two years solid. I can’t see anything pointing out that on day 1 our law starts out deeply screwed and only gets fixed after two years of having bad law.

There is basically nothing I can do to have an input into this, we are all spectators in this shitshow of incompetence, and we all have to suffer the consequences, but lets look at the next steps anyway. After both sides have done their 8 days of histrionic virtue signalling, all the amendments will be voted down and the Tories will pass this stupid bill, probably with opposition support. In the mean time, our negotiators will fail to do their job and negotiate a settlement of the financial commitments we have made. They won’t even see the shortcut for the lazy that I pointed out. Next week on the 20th the the EMA and EBA contests will come to a conclusion and we will see where our pharmaceutical industry and the city will head off to. Finally we will have about a year of nothing useful happening, before we all get front row seats for an unstoppable cascade failure of basically everything at once.

On that cheery note, here are the explanatory notes for all of the amendments to be discussed in the committee of the whole house:

  • This amendment would ensure that the United Kingdom does not repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and exit the European Union unless and until a new Treaty establishing a future relationship between the UK and EU has been agreed and ratified by Parliament.
  • This amendment would ensure that the existing legal framework for customs duties and the Customs Union common external tariff framework would continue to be in effect after exit day.
  • This amendment would ensure that the Government produces a strategy which would enable the United Kingdom to continue to participate in key EU agencies and programmes.
  • This amendment would make the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day conditional on the Prime Minister reaching an agreement for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EEA and Customs Union.
  • This amendment would make the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day conditional on the Prime Minister gaining consent from the devolved legislatures.
  • This amendment would require the UK Government to lay a report before the National Assembly for Wales outlining the effect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Welsh finances, before exercising the power under section 1. This would allow for scrutiny of the Leave Campaign’s promise to maintain current levels of EU funding for Wales.
  • This new clause would ensure that Ministers must set out in detail how the provisions in Clause 6 would apply during a transitional period before the United Kingdom fully implements a withdrawal agreement.
  • This amendment provides a scheme for interpretation of EU law and to provide a backstop where necessary transposition has not been effected by regulations made under Clause 7.
  • This paving amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This amendment would bind UK courts to European Court principles laid down or decisions made after exit day if they related to an act before exit day.
  • This paving amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This amendment would enable UK courts to refer matters to the European Court on or after exit day if those matters related to an act before exit day.
  • This amendment would help to ensure that Britain continues to have harmonious social standards with the EU.
  • The amendment would make clear that non-binding aids to the interpretation of EU law, such as background materials and official guidance produced before exit day, should continue to be taken into account by the courts when interpreting retained EU law to the same extent as at present.
  • This paving amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This consequential Amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This consequential Amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This consequential Amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This new clause would prevent delegated powers from other Acts being used to alter workplace protections, equality provisions, health and safety regulations or fundamental rights.
  • This new clause would ensure that Parliament is informed of changes in EU and EEA provisions that might have amended UK law if the UK had remained a member of those institutions beyond exit day.
  • This new clause provides a mechanism for Ministers to establish a list of technical provisions of retained EU law that may be amended by subordinate legislation outside of the time restrictions of the Bill.
  • This amendment would qualify the powers conferred to alter law by statutory instrument after exit day.
  • This new clause would ensure that after exit day, EU-derived employment rights, environmental protection, standards of equalities, health and safety standards and consumer standards can only be amended by primary legislation or subordinate legislation made under this Act.
  • This amendment would alter the definition of EU retained law so as only to include reserved areas of legislation. This will allow the National Assembly for Wales and the other devolved administrations to legislate on areas of EU derived law which fall under devolved competency for themselves.
  • This amendment, along with Amendment 64 to Schedule 8 would exclude the European Economic Area agreement from the Bill, allowing the UK to remain in the EEA.
  • The amendment would allow Ministers, with parliamentary approval, to apply EU legislation which has been passed before exit day but does not take full effect until after that day, along with subordinate measures made for the purposes of EU legislation which is retained under the Bill and taking effect after exit day.
  • This new clause seeks to transfer the EU Protocol on animal sentience set out in Article 13 of Title II of the Lisbon Treaty into UK law, so that animals continue to be recognised as sentient beings under domestic law.
  • This new clause would ensure that after withdrawal from the EU, the environmental principles of EU law would be retained as part of UK law.
  • This new clause would ensure that environmental principles under Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would continue to apply in the UK after exit day.
  • The test set out at Clause 4(1)(a), that such rights are available in domestic law immediately before exit day, is sufficient for those rights to continue to be available following the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • This amendment would seek to preserve after exit from the EU any rights or obligations arising from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which applied in UK domestic law by virtue of its membership of the European Union.
  • Clause 4(2)(b) excludes rights arising under EU directives which are not recognised by the courts. This Amendment would remove Clause 4(2)(b) so that rights arising under EU directives (but not yet adjudicated on by the courts) are protected and continue to be available in UK courts.
  • New subsection (4) deals with a situation where the UK has incorrectly implemented a directive. In cases of incorrect implementation, reliance on the EU directive may still be necessary. New subsection (5) would ensure that where the UK has not correctly or completely implemented EU
  • This new clause would require Ministers to produce a report reviewing in full the implications of removing from UK law the Charter of Fundamental Rights — and the rights for UK citizens which it has help to guarantee.
  • This amendment would remove the reference to a rule of law passed or made before exit day.
  • This paving Amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • This amendment would remove the reference to a rule of law passed or made before exit day.
  • This amendment would remove the reference to a rule of law passed or made before exit day.
  • To allow the Charter of Fundamental rights to continue to apply domestically in the interpretation and application of retained EU law.
  • This amendment would remove the exclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights from retained EU law.
  • Clause 5(4) of the Bill excludes the Charter of Fundamental Rights from the ‘incorporation’ powers in the Bill. This amendment would require the Secretary of State to replicate Article 8 of the Charter (the Right to Protection of Personal Data) in UK domestic law within three months of the commencement of Clause 5.
  • This Amendment is intended to allow for transitional arrangements within the existing structure of rules and regulations.
  • To allow challenges to be brought to retained EU law on the grounds that it is in breach of general principles of EU law.
  • This amendment clarifies that all the existing principles of EU law will be retained within domestic law whether they originate in the case law of the European Court, the EU treaties, direct EU legislation or EU directives. It also makes clear that the key environmental law principles in Article 191 of the Treaty are retained.
  • This amendment would retain the existing principles of EU law within domestic law whether they originate in the case law of the European Court, the EU treaties, direct EU legislation or EU directives. The freeze date would be at the end of any transitional arrangements.
  • This amendment leave out paragraph 3, thus retaining the right of action in domestic law in relation to general principles of EU law.
  • This amendment would remove the proposal to end rights in UK domestic law after exit day in relation to damages in accordance with the rule in Francovich.
  • This amendment, together with Amendments 140 and 141, would restore the right to obtain damages after exit day in respect of governmental failures before exit day to comply with European Union obligations.
  • This amendment would enable actions to be brought under the Francovich rule either before or after exit day if they related to an act before exit day.
  • This amendment ensures that the right to obtain damages if the Government fails to uphold its obligations continues as long as the UK remains under the existing structure of rules and regulation.
  • This amendment is consequential on Amendment 62.
  • This amendment is consequential on Amendment 62.
  • To allow challenges to be brought to retained EU law on the grounds that it is in breach of general principles of EU law and to allow damages to be awarded for any proven breach of such a principle.
  • This new clause would establish new procedures for the creation of UK-wide frameworks for retained EU law.
  • This new clause would put the Joint Ministerial Committee’s role in the withdrawal process on a statutory footing.
  • This amendment removes the Bill’s proposed restrictions on the ability of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly to legislate on devolved matters.
  • This amendment would replace the Bill’s changes to the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales in consequence of EU withdrawal, by removing the restriction on legislative competence relating to EU law and ensuring that no further restriction relating to retained EU law is imposed.
  • This amendment is intended to remove the proposed bar on the Scottish Parliament legislating inconsistently with EU law after exit day.
  • This amendment would remove the restrictions on the Scottish Parliament modifying retained EU law except in relation to matters that are reserved.
  • This amendment is intended to remove the proposed bar on the National Assembly for Wales legislating inconsistently with EU law.
  • This amendment would remove the restrictions on the National Assembly for Wales modifying retained EU law except in relation to matters that are reserved.
  • This amendment is intended to remove the proposed bar on the Northern Ireland Assembly legislating inconsistently with EU law.
  • This amendment would remove the restrictions on the Northern Ireland Assembly modifying retained EU law except in relation to matters that are reserved or excepted.
  • This amendment, alongside Amendment 42 and NC64, would establish that the UK Government has until the end of transitional arrangements to create any UK-wide frameworks.
  • This amendment would replace the Bill’s changes to the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers in consequence of withdrawal from the EU, by removing the restriction on competence relating to EU law and ensuring that no further restriction relating to retained EU law is imposed.
  • This consequential amendment, linked to Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3, would change a heading in the Scotland Act 1998 to remove a reference to retained EU law.
  • This consequential amendment, linked to Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3, would change the definition of devolution issues in the Scotland Act 1998.
  • This consequential amendment, linked to Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3, would enable changes to the procedure for subordinate legislation in the Scotland Act 1998.
  • This amendment makes a change consequential on Amendment 165, which would omit section 80 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, making section 58A (4)(d) of that Act redundant.
  • Amendment 165 omits section 80 of the Government of Wales Act 2006. This amendment would amend the changes made to the heading before section 80 to reflect the omission of section 80 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment makes a change consequential on Amendment 165, which would omit section 80 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, making paragraph 31 of Schedule 3 in this Bill redundant.
  • This new clause is intended to preserve the principles of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement which underpin the Northern Ireland Act 1998.
  • This amendment seeks to ensure that the rights provided for under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement continue to be implemented and are protected.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a devolved authority to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal in such a way that it could only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a Minister of the Crown acting jointly with a devolved authority to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal in such a way that they could only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would include the power to confer a power to legislate among the powers of the Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 1 of Schedule 2 to fix problems in retained EU law arising from withdrawal, in line with a Minister of the Crown’s powers under Clause 7.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 1 of Schedule 2 extends to amending directly applicable EU law incorporated into UK law, in line with a Minister of the Crown’s power in Clause 7.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 1 of Schedule 2 includes the power to confer functions which correspond to functions to make EU tertiary legislation, in line with a Minister of the Crown’s power in Clause 7.
  • This amendment would replace the requirement for consent from a Minister of the Crown for regulations made by Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers in fixing problems in retained EU law that arise from withdrawal if they come into force before exit day or remove reciprocal arrangements with a requirement for Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers to consult with a Minister of the Crown before making the regulations.
  • This is a consequential amendment linked to Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This amendment is intended to remove the proposed restriction in the Bill on devolved authorities modifying retained direct EU legislation etc.
  • This is a consequential amendment linked to Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 323, 324 and 325, would prevent the Welsh Ministers from
  • This amendment, and Amendments 322, 324 and 325, would prevent the Welsh Ministers from using powers proposed in the Bill (to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal) to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 322, 323 and 325, would prevent the Welsh Ministers from using powers proposed in the Bill (to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal) to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 322, 323 and 324, would prevent the Welsh Ministers from using powers proposed in the Bill (to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal) to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a devolved authority to prevent or remedy a breach of international obligations in such a way that it can only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a Minister of the Crown acting jointly with a devolved authority to prevent or remedy a breach of international obligations in such a way that they could only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would ensure that the restriction in this paragraph could not be undermined by the use of legislation which does not amend the text of the Human Rights Act but modifies its effect.
  • This amendment would broaden the restriction in this subsection to protect all legislation relating to equality and human rights (and not only the Human Rights Act 1998).
  • This amendment would prevent the Welsh Ministers from using powers proposed in the Bill (to comply with international obligations) to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 2 of Schedule 2 includes the power to confer a power to legislate, aligning those Ministers’ powers to the power of a Minister of the Crown under Clause 8.
  • This amendment would restrict the use of the delegated powers granted to Ministers in Clause 8 to a period of 12 months after 29 March 2019.
  • This amendment is intended to remove the proposed restriction in the Bill on devolved authorities modifying retained direct EU legislation etc.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 2 of Schedule 2 extends to amending directly applicable EU law incorporated into UK law. This brings the power into line with the Minister of the Crown power in Clause 8.
  • This amendment would replace the requirement for a Minister of the Crown to consent to
  • This is a consequential amendment linked to amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This is a consequential amendment linked to amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This is a consequential amendment linked to amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This consequential amendment, linked to amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3, changes the reference to section 80 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 to make clear that the restriction on the powers of the Welsh Ministers not to act or legislate incompatibly with EU law is removed.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a devolved authority to implement the withdrawal agreement in such a way that it could only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would limit the power available to a Minister of the Crown acting jointly with a devolved authority to implement the withdrawal agreement in such a way that they could only make provision that is essential to that end.
  • This amendment would ensure that the restriction in this paragraph could not be undermined by the use of legislation which does not amend the text of the Human Rights Act but modifies its effect.
  • This amendment would broaden the restriction in this subsection to protect all legislation relating to equality and human rights (and not only the Human Rights Act 1998).
  • This amendment would prevent the Welsh Ministers from using powers proposed in the Bill (to implement the withdrawal agreement) to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment would include the power to confer a power to legislate among the powers of the Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 3 of Schedule 2, in line with a Minister of the Crown’s powers under Clause 9.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 3 of Schedule 2 extends to amending directly applicable EU law incorporated into UK law, in line with the Minister of the Crown power in Clause 9.
  • This amendment would provide that the power of the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers to make regulations under Part 3 of Schedule 2 includes the power to confer functions which correspond to functions to make EU tertiary legislation.
  • This amendment replaces the requirement for Minister of the Crown consent to regulations made by the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers to implement the withdrawal agreement if they relate to quota arrangements, with a requirement for the Scottish Ministers and Welsh Ministers to consult with a Minister of the Crown before making the relevant regulations.
  • This amendment would provide a power to the Welsh Ministers to make consequential and transitional provision within the devolved competence of the Welsh Ministers.
  • This new clause would ensure that the financial provision made in section 12 of this Act does not allow the Government to make a payment in settlement of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union as part of a withdrawal agreement or new Treaty unless it has been expressly approved by the House of Commons.
  • This amendment would ensure that there is a vote in the House of Commons to approve any settlement payment agreed by Ministers as a consequence of negotiations on a withdrawal agreement or new Treaty with the European Union.
  • This amendment would limit the scope of regulations modifying the levying of fees or charges by regulatory bodies to only the effects set out in sub-sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and ©.
  • This amendment would remove the power of public authorities to levy fees or charges via tertiary legislation.
  • This amendment would prevent delegated powers from being used to levy taxes.
  • This amendment would prevent Ministers using the power for public bodies to alter fees and
  • This new clause would require the Government to commission an Independent Report into the constitutional implications of the wide-ranging powers to make regulations delegated to Ministers in Clause 7 of the Bill, in pursuance of the conclusions of the 3rd Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution session 2017–19 (HL Paper 19) “European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: interim report”
  • The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that the powers to create secondary legislation given to Ministers by the Bill can be used only in pursuit of the overall statutory purpose, namely to allow retained EU law to continue to operate effectively after exit day.
  • This new clause requires the Government to establish new domestic governance proposals following the UK’s exit from the EU and to ensure statutory and institutional basis for future environmental protection.
  • This new clause would require the Government to produce a list of regulations it intends to make under the Bills correcting powers, and to update that list each month, in order to provide clarity about when, and in which areas, it believes the power will be necessary.
  • This new clause would ensure that the institutions and agencies that protect EU derived rights and protections are replaced to a sufficient standard so those rights and protections will still be enjoyed in practice.
  • This new clause is intended to provide for refugee family reunion in the UK in place of the family reunion aspects of the Dublin III Regulation, allowing adult refugees in the UK to sponsor relatives who are unaccompanied children to come to the UK from around the world.
  • This new clause would require Ministers of the Crown to make specific provision for the enforcement of EU legislation relating to environmental protection.
  • This new clause would require the Government to establish new domestic governance arrangements following the UK’s exit from the EU for environmental standards and protections, following consultation.
  • This Amendment would reduce the wide discretion for using delegated legislation and limit it to those aspects which are unavoidable.
  • This amendment would place a general provision on the face of the Bill to the effect that the delegated powers granted by the Bill should be used only so far as necessary.
  • This Amendment is intended to preserve after exit day the rights, including residence rights, of EU citizens in the UK.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to define in regulations one of the criteria for the use of Clause 7 powers to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister of the Crown from making provision to deal with deficiencies in retained EU law arising from withdrawal to the extent that the provision would be within the devolved competence of the Welsh Ministers.
  • To restrict the power of a Minister to make regulations to amend retained EU law to cases where the EU law is deficient in the way set out in the Bill.
  • This amendment would remove the ambiguity in Clause 7 which sets out a definition of ‘deficiencies in retained EU law’ but allows Ministers significant latitude. By removing the qualifying phrase ‘but are not limited to’, subsection (2) becomes a more precise prescribed set of circumstances where Ministers may and may not make regulations.
  • This amendment would ensure that any regulatory or rule-making powers transferred from EU entities to UK public bodies receive the same degree of scrutiny that would have been the case if the UK had remained in the European Union.
  • The amendment would make clear that retained EU law cannot be modified under clause 7 to restrict the rights of EU nationals or businesses in the UK simply because UK nationals or businesses may lose equivalent rights in the EU as a result of the UK’s withdrawal.
  • This amendment would remove the scope for regulations to make provisions that could be made by an Act of Parliament.
  • This amendment would remove the proposed capacity of Ministers under Clause 7 to modify and amend the Act itself via delegated powers.
  • This amendment ensures that the Government cannot establish new agencies using delegated legislation.
  • This amendment would remove the ability of Ministers to replace or abolish public service functions currently undertaken by EU entities without making an alternative provision for those equivalent public services to continue domestically after exit day. Retaining the existing functions undertaken by the EU is an important principle that the part of this sub-clause could potentially undermine.
  • To prevent the abolition by SI of a function currently carried out by an EU entity in the UK, as opposed to its replacement or modification.
  • This amendment seeks to prevent the establishment of new public bodies by means of secondary legislation only, as opposed to primary legislation.
  • This amendment replicates the provisions in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which limit Ministers’ powers even in a time of declared emergency. They ensure that statutory instruments are proportionate and necessary.
  • This amendment is intended to prevent the regulation-making power from being used to remove necessary protections.
  • This amendment provides for any new public authority established under secondary legislation to be temporary.
  • This amendment would ensure that standards, rights and protections currently maintained by EU entities or public authorities in member states will continue to be maintained in practice following the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • This amendment is intended to prevent the regulation-making powers being used to create barriers to the UK’s continued membership of the customs union.
  • This amendment is intended to prevent the regulation-making powers being used to create barriers to the UK’s continued membership of the single market.
  • This amendment prevents Ministers of the Crown from making regulations under the powers in Clause 7 that apply to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland other than in relation to reserved (or, in the case of Northern Ireland, excepted and reserved) matters.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government from using powers in the Act to remove any consumer protections or rights enshrined in EU law after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister from using regulations under Clause 7 of the Bill to remove or reduce rights under the Dublin Regulation, the 2004 Directive on freedom of movement, or to remove rights or obligations under TFEU, TEU or the Charter of Fundamental Rights, regarding admission or transfer to the UK of unaccompanied child refugees or asylum seekers (including those who wish to claim asylum).
  • This amendment would ensure that any new institutions required to enforce environmental standards and protections following the UK’s exit from the EU can be created only by primary legislation.
  • This amendment would prevent regulations under the Bill being used to amend the Equality Act 2010.
  • This amendment would ensure that the restriction in this paragraph could not be undermined by the use of legislation which does not amend the text of the Human Rights Act but modifies its effect.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers of a Minister of the Crown under Clause 7 of the Bill to fix problems in retained EU law from being exercised to amend the Scotland Act 1998 or the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government of Wales Act 2006 from being amended by regulations under Clause 7.
  • This amendment would broaden the restriction in this subsection to protect all legislation relating to equality and human rights (and not only the Human Rights Act 1998).
  • This amendment is intended to ensure that the EU Withdrawal Bill does not affect any legislation derived from the Good Friday Agreement or the intention of the Good Friday Agreement.
  • To narrow down the circumstances in which this power can be exercised.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government’s using delegated powers under Clause 7 to reduce rights or protections.
  • This Amendment ensures that the power to make regulations in Clause 7 may not be exercised to reduce environmental protection.
  • This amendment seeks to prevent the delegated powers granted to Ministers by Clause 7 being used to weaken or abolish existing EU-derived legal rights, such as those on workers’ rights, equality, and environmental protection.
  • This amendment would seek to bar Ministers from making regulations under Clause 7 which are not compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • This amendment would require that changes cannot be made under Clause 7 to EU-derived domestic legislation concerning the co-ordination of social security systems between the UK and EU member states unless the Secretary of State has consulted with the relevant Minister in each of the devolved administrations.
  • This amendment would require that changes cannot be made under Clause 7 to EU-derived domestic legislation concerning eligibility for UK pensions unless a public consultation on these changes has taken place.
  • This amendment would ensure that the power to make regulations on agricultural policy under Clause 7 could not be exercised without agreement from the Joint Ministerial Council.
  • This amendment would ensure that the power to make regulations concerning fisheries under Clause 7 could not be exercised without agreement from the Joint Ministerial Council.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 7 being used to amend Equality Act 2010 legislation.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 7 being used to remove, reduce or otherwise limit the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 7 being used to make provision which could pose a threat to national security.
  • This amendment holds Ministers to the animal welfare standards enshrined in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  • This amendment ensures that regulations under this section cannot interfere with environmental protection under retained EU law, by requiring a Ministerial certificate.
  • The amendment would require early consultation with representatives of the financial and professional services industries on relevant modifications which are to be made under clause 7.
  • This amendment is intended to require the Government to make regulations that continue to recognise European Protection Orders issued by courts in other EU member states after exit day.
  • This amendment prevents Ministers of the Crown from being able to replace, abolish or modify the functions of EU Agencies without laying impact assessments on its effect before both Houses of Parliament.
  • This amendment would require a Minister of the Crown to first seek the consent of the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers before making any regulations under Clause 7 on Scottish or Welsh devolved matters.
  • This amendment would ensure that the UK maintains existing air quality standards and protections following the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • This new clause is linked to the removal of Clause 9 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 7 to require the
  • This new clause would ensure that a separate Act of Parliament would be required for Ministers to determine exit day and to set out the arrangements that will apply after exit day.
  • This new clause would ensure that the wide-ranging powers for Ministers to implement the withdrawal agreement set out in Clause 9 of the Bill cannot come into force until the withdrawal agreement has been published.
  • This new clause describes the requirement for each House of Parliament to agree to withdrawal from the European Economic Area and is linked to Amendment 128 which makes the exercise of the power to make regulations implementing the withdrawal agreement contingent on such agreement.
  • This new clause is intended to establish that Parliament has a meaningful vote on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
  • This new clause would require the Government to seek Parliamentary approval for its exit agreement with the EU at least three months before exit day.
  • The intention of this new clause, which could be amended only by primary legislation, is to specify the actions that should be taken if the Government does not secure a withdrawal agreement by 31 Oct 2018 or that Parliament does not approve a withdrawal agreement by 28 February 2019.
  • This new clause is intended to ensure that primary legislation is used to implement the withdrawal agreement, including maintaining EU citizens’ rights.
  • To require the final deal with the EU to be approved by statute passed by Parliament.
  • This amendment would require the final deal with the EU to be approved by statute passed by both Parliament and by the devolved administrations.
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister of the Crown from making provision to implement the withdrawal agreement to the extent that the provision would be within the devolved competence of the Welsh Ministers.
  • This amendment seeks to restrict the delegated powers granted to Ministers by Clause 9.
  • This removes the power of Ministers to amend this Act, the Parliament Acts and any Act granted assent in this session of Parliament. It is necessary so as to safeguard the constitutional provisions in the Parliament Acts, such as the provision that a Parliament cannot last more than five years and the relative powers of the House of Lords.
  • This amendment would remove the proposed capacity of Ministers in Clause 9 to modify and amend the Act itself via delegated powers.
  • This amendment would prevent the Ministerial order making powers in Clause 9 being used to modify the European Union (Withdrawal) Act itself.
  • The amendment would make clear that aspects of EU membership, such as the automatic effect of EU law and enforcement and adjudication mechanisms, can be maintained for an implementation period if the Government agrees to do so as part of the withdrawal agreement.
  • This amendment is intended to maintain the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement after the UK leaves the EU.
  • This amendment is preparatory to Amendment 370.
  • This amendment would ensure that the restriction in this paragraph could not be undermined by the use of legislation which does not amend the text of the Human Rights Act but modifies its effect.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government’s using delegated powers under Clause 9 to reduce rights or protections.
  • This Amendment ensures that the power to make regulations in Clause 8 may not be exercised to reduce environmental protection.
  • This amendment seeks to prevent the delegated powers granted to Ministers by Clause 9 being used to weaken or abolish existing EU-derived legal rights, such as those on workers’ rights, equality, and environmental protection.
  • This amendment seeks to protect the existing rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
  • This amendment would seek to bar Ministers from making regulations under Clause 9 which are not compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 9 being used to amend Equality Act 2010 legislation.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 9 being used to remove, reduce or otherwise limit the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 9 being used to make provision which could pose a threat to national security.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government of Wales Act 2006 from being amended by regulations under Clause 9.
  • This amendment would broaden the restriction in this subsection to protect all legislation relating to equality and human rights (and not only the Human Rights Act 1998).
  • This amendment makes the exercise of the power to make regulations implementing the withdrawal agreement contingent on the requirement for separate agreement on withdrawal from the European Economic Area of NC29.
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister of the Crown from using the power to make regulations under Clause 9 implementing any withdrawal agreement to change the devolution settlements for Scotland and Wales without the consent of the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom exiting the EU single market on the UK public finances, before any regulations are made under section 9.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom exiting the EU single market on the levels of GDP growth in the UK and in each part of the UK, before any regulations are made under section 9.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom ending freedom of movement on the UK’s public finances, before any regulations are made under section 9.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the broadened responsibilities of the UK Treasury following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, before any regulations are made under section 9.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government using any delegated powers under Clause 9 until it had secured Parliamentary approval for its proposals to replace any provisions that cease to apply as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from membership of Euratom.
  • This amendment would ensure that powers to Ministers to make regulations implementing the withdrawal agreement cannot be exercised until such time as the withdrawal agreement has been published along with the publication of associated legislative proposals on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and international sanctions.
  • Although the power conferred by this clause lapses on exit day, there is no sunset clause for the statutory instruments provided under it. This would make all such statutory instruments lapse two years after exit day and require the Government to introduce primary legislation if it wanted to keep them in force.
  • This amendment seeks to ensure that Ministers cannot make and use secondary legislation for the purposes of implementing the withdrawal agreement until such time as that agreement has been approved by a Ratification Referendum.
  • This amendment seeks to protect the existing rights of both EU citizens living in the UK, and UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.
  • This amendment would require a Minister of the Crown to first seek the consent of the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers before making any regulations under Clause 9 on Scottish or Welsh devolved matters.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to publish a strategy to retain access to the EU’s Emissions Trading System markets after withdrawal.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for the UK to continue participation in the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative after withdrawal from the EU.”
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for retaining access to the European Investment Bank.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for retaining access to the European Investment Fund.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for continuing to be a member of the European Food Safety Authority.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to publish a strategy for seeking to ensure that reciprocal healthcare arrangements continue after the UK leaves the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for continuing to be a member of the European Medicines Agency.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for continuing to be a member of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for continuing to be a member of the European Chemicals Agency.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish a strategy for continuing to be a member of the European Single Sky Agreement.
  • This amendment would require the Government to set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that the UK continues to be a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that the UK continues to be a member of the European Maritime Safety Agency after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that the UK continued to be a member of the ERASMUS scheme after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would seek to ensure that roaming charges do not come into effect after exit day for UK citizens in the EU and vice versa.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that the UK continued to be a member of Creative Europe after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the UK to make a request to the President of the European Council for continued UK membership of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for seeking to ensure that the UK continued to have access to Passenger Name Records after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the Schengen Information System after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the European Arrest Warrant after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have membership of EUROPOL after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have membership of EUROJUST after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the European Criminal Records Information system with the EU after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the Prüm Council decisions relating to fingerprint and DNA exchange with the EU, after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the False and Authentic Documents Online (“FADO”) internet-based image archiving system after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to participate in the Convention on Mutual Assistance and Cooperation between Customs Administrations of 1997 (“Naples II Convention”), after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable the UK to continue to have access to the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to enable British-registered lawyers to continue to appear before the Court of Justice of the European Union, after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for reaching agreement with the EU to ensure that communications from British-registered lawyers with regard to proceedings before the European Court continue to be covered by legal profession privilege, after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would facilitate the continuance of free movement in and out of Scotland after exit day.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for continued participation by the United Kingdom in the common European Asylum System, after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment would require the Secretary of State to set out a strategy for a food standards framework after withdrawal from the EU, before making any regulations implementing the withdrawal agreement.
  • This amendment would ensure harmonisation of clinical trials across the EU Member States will continue in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
  • This amendment would ensure that the withdrawal agreement is implemented through primary legislation.
  • This new clause establishes the principle that there shall be a Commons triage committee which works alongside the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee to determine the level of scrutiny each statutory instrument shall receive.
  • This new clause would require the Government to bring forward early proposals for the House of Commons to consider as changes to Standing Orders to reflect the scrutiny required as a result of changes to regulation and delegated legislation made by this Act.
  • This new clause would commit Ministers to abiding by the existing Cabinet Office code of practice on consultations in respect of regulations to be made under the Bill.
  • This new Clause would ensure that social, employment and environmental laws cannot be changed by the order-making powers delegated to Ministers without a vote in Parliament.
  • This new clause seeks to ensure that a Parliamentary Committee rather than ministers should decide what is the appropriate level of scrutiny for regulations made under the Act and that the Parliamentary Committee has the power to require enhanced scrutiny in relation to regulations that it considers to be particularly significant or contentious.
  • This amendment would require the Minister to provide an explanatory statement on whether the regulations simply transpose EU law or make further changes, subject to a check by a committee of the House, and require that if the regulations involve more than simple transposition the super affirmative procedure must be used.
  • This amendment would ensure Parliament has following recommendations by the Minister, which parliamentary procedure should be used to scrutinise statutory instruments containing regulations that deal with deficiencies arising from EU withdrawal. It also provides for use of the “super-affirmative resolution procedure” whereby a committee of either House can recommend that no further proceedings be taken in relation to a draft order, which can only be over-turned by a resolution of that House.
  • This amendment is linked to Amendment 21 and removes the provision that certain statutory instruments can be introduced under the negative resolution and requires all SIs made under Clause 7 to go through the affirmative route with a vote in both Houses. It means that the Government could not bypass Parliament by refusing to grant time for a debate on annulling an SI.
  • This amendment is linked to Amendment 20 and removes the provision that certain statutory instruments can be introduced under the negative resolution and requires all SIs made under Clause 7 to go through the affirmative route with a vote in both Houses. It means that the Government could not bypass Parliament by refusing to grant time for a debate on annulling an SI.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 34 and 35 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 7 of this Act, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 33 and 35 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 7 of this Act, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment would make any changes to the application of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive in the UK subject to approval by resolution of each House of Parliament.
  • This amendment would require that the rights of workers currently afforded by EU law that are being transposed into UK law can be changed only through affirmative procedure.
  • This amendment would require that the rights of disabled people currently afforded by EU law that are being transposed into UK law can be changed only through affirmative procedure.
  • This amendment would list areas regarding workers’ rights where changes to EU-derived law could be made only through affirmative procedure.
  • This amendment, linked to Amendment 264, would ensure that any regulations to define “failure to operate efficiently” under section 7(1A) would be subject to affirmative procedure.
  • To set up a triage and scrutiny system under the control of Parliament for determining how Statutory Instruments under Clause 7 of the Bill will be dealt with.
  • This amendment would facilitate the use of affirmative and super-affirmative procedures, other than for the transfer of functions of EU public bodies.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 33 and 34 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 7 of this Act, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment would require regulations appointing an exit day to be subject to the affirmative procedure.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 329 and 331, would remove provisions in the Bill that prescribe scrutiny procedures for the National Assembly for Wales. These amendments, coupled with Amendment 330, would allow the National Assembly for Wales to set the scrutiny procedures it considers appropriate for the control of powers proposed for the Welsh Ministers under the Bill.
  • This amendment applies the procedures set out in Amendment 129 in respect of the UK Parliament for regulations made jointly by a Minister of the Crown acting jointly with a devolved authority.
  • Consequential amendment to Amendment 3.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 328 and 331, would remove provisions in the Bill that prescribe scrutiny procedures for the National Assembly for Wales. These amendments, coupled with Amendment 330, would allow the National Assembly for Wales to set the scrutiny procedures it considers appropriate for the control of powers proposed for the Welsh Ministers under the Bill.
  • This amendment would require that, when using the urgent cases provision in the Bill, the Minister must first consult with businesses and other relevant organisations.
  • This amendment would limit the circumstances in which Ministers can use procedures for urgent cases to circumstances in which there is a serious threat of damage to human welfare, the environment or the security of the United Kingdom.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 37 and 38 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 8 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 36 and 38 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 8 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This would mean that if the Leader of the Opposition or 80 members of the House of Commons were to sign a prayer against an SI that was subject under Schedule 7 to the negative procedure, the Government would have to provide time for a debate and a vote on the floor of the House or lose the SI. At present there is no such provision in the House of Commons.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 36 and 37 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 8 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment is linked to New Clause 3 to require the Government to implement the withdrawal agreement through separate primary and secondary legislation rather than through this Bill.
  • This amendment is linked to Amendment 24 and removes the provision that certain statutory instruments can be introduced under the negative resolution and requires all SIs under Clause 9 to go through the affirmative route with a vote in both Houses. It means that the Government could not bypass Parliament by refusing to grant time for a debate on annulling an SI.
  • This amendment is linked to Amendment 23 and removes the provision that certain statutory instruments can be introduced under the negative resolution and requires all SIs under Clause 9 to go through the affirmative route with a vote in both Houses. It means that the Government could not bypass Parliament by refusing to grant time for a debate on annulling an SI.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 40 and 41 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 9 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 39 and 41 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 9 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 39 and 40 would establish that it is for Parliament to decide which level of scrutiny a Statutory Instrument shall receive under Clause 9 of this Bill, and that matters of policy interest will be subject to the approval of both Houses and to amendment.
  • This amendment provides for draft affirmative resolution scrutiny for the power to the definition of “law relating to equality or human rights”, inserted by Amendment 371.
  • Consequential to amendment 293.
  • Consequential to amendment 293.
  • The intention of this amendment is that tertiary legislation under the Act should be subject to the same parliamentary control and time-limits as are applicable to secondary legislation.
  • This amendment would remove the wider latitude currently allowing Ministers to make regulations without Parliamentary approval “by reason of urgency” and instead only allow such executive action “by reason of emergency”. An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to human health, life, property, or environment.
  • This amendment would allow the National Assembly for Wales to set the scrutiny procedures it considers appropriate for the control of powers proposed for the Welsh Ministers under the Bill.
  • The intention of this amendment is to provide for a citizens’ jury to be consulted before regulations are made under this Act.
  • This amendment would require consultation and an impact assessment before legislation affecting the relating to the oil and gas sector is changed by regulations made under the Act.
  • This amendment, and Amendments 328 and 329, would remove provisions in the Bill that prescribe scrutiny procedures for the National Assembly for Wales. These amendments, coupled with Amendment 330, would allow the National Assembly for Wales to set the scrutiny procedures it considers appropriate for the control of powers proposed for the Welsh Ministers under the Bill.
  • This amendment would remove a widely drawn delegated power, which covers anything that happens as a consequence of the Act.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government of Wales Act 2006 from being amended by regulations under Clause 17.
  • This amendment is consequential on amendment 381 and highlights that transitional, transitory or saving provision under the Bill may relate to exit day.
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister of the Crown from making transitional, transitory or saving provision to the extent that the provision would be within the devolved competence of the Welsh Ministers.
  • This amendment ensures that the power to make regulations in Clause 17 may not be exercised to reduce environmental protection.
  • This amendment imposes the same restriction on the regulation making powers under Clause 17 as applies to other regulation powers in the Bill.
  • This amendment would place restrictions on the power to make consequential and transitional provision.
  • This amendment would replicate, for the powers in clause 17, the equality and human rights restrictions on other powers in this Bill (as modified by other amendments).
  • This amendment would remove the powers granted to Ministers by Clause 17, including the power to amend provisions in this Bill, once enacted, by means of delegated legislation only.
  • This new clause would require Ministers to publish a full list and assessment of the implications of this Act on the many international treaties and agreements that the United Kingdom is party to and which may be impacted as a result of this Bill. The assessment would also have to set out those areas where Ministers anticipate the powers in Clause 8 of this Bill may need to be used.
  • This new clause would require Ministers and public authorities, from exit day onwards, to act in such a way as to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the optional protocols to which the UK is a signatory state.
  • This new clause would require Ministers and public authorities, from exit day onwards, to act in such a way as to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the optional protocols to which the UK is a signatory state.
  • This amendment is intended to maintain the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement after the UK leaves the EU.
  • This amendment would allow Ministers to make regulations to fulfil obligations arising out of the British-Irish Agreement (which commits to implementation of the Multi-Party Agreement).
  • This amendment would prevent a Minister of the Crown from making provision to prevent or remedy any breach of international obligations to the extent that the provision would be within the devolved competence of the Welsh Ministers.
  • This amendment seeks to restrict the delegated powers granted to Ministers by Clause 8.
  • This amendment would remove the proposed capacity of Ministers in Clause 8 to modify and amend the Act itself via delegated powers.
  • This amendment is intended to ensure that the UK continues to meet international air quality standards after withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment is intended to maintain the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement after the UK leaves the EU.
  • This amendment is preparatory to Amendment 367.
  • This amendment would ensure that the restriction in this paragraph could not be undermined by the use of legislation which does not amend the text of the Human Rights Act but modifies its effect.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers of a Minister of the Crown under Clause 8 of the Bill to ensure compliance with international obligations from being exercised to amend the Scotland Act 1998 or the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government of Wales Act 2006 from being amended by regulations under Clause 8.
  • This amendment would prevent the Government’s using delegated powers under Clause 8 to reduce rights or protections.
  • This Amendment ensures that the power to make regulations in Clause 8 may not be exercised to reduce environmental protection.
  • This amendment seeks to prevent the delegated powers granted to Ministers by clause 8 being used to weaken or abolish existing EU-derived legal rights, such as those on workers’ rights, equality, and environmental protection.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 8 being used to amend Equality Act 2010 legislation.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 8 being used to remove, reduce or otherwise limit the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK.
  • This amendment would prevent the powers in Clause 8 being used to make provision which could pose a threat to national security.
  • This amendment would prevent the imposition or increase of a tax by regulations made under Clause 8 to comply with international obligations.
  • This amendment is intended to ensure that the power to make regulations to fulfil obligations arising out of the British-Irish Agreement could not be used in a manner incompatible with those obligations.
  • This amendment would broaden the restriction in this subsection to protect all legislation relating to equality and human rights (and not only the Human Rights Act 1998).
  • This amendment would restrict the use of the delegated powers granted to Ministers in clause 8 to a period of 12 months after 29 March 2019.
  • This amendment would require a Minister of the Crown to first seek the consent of the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers before making any regulations under Clause 8 on Scottish or Welsh devolved matters.
  • This amendment would ensure that in exercising the powers under this provision, the Government maintains equivalent standards to the EU, and in particular, in making trade agreements.
  • This new clause would require Ministers to publish copies of retained direct EU legislation accompanied by ‘plain English’ and readily understandable summarising explanatory documents.
  • This amendment would require the Government to publish its economic impact assessments of the policy options for withdrawal from the EU.
  • This new clause would ensure that Parliament has ratified successor arrangements for a future relationship and Treaty between the EU and UK before ‘exit day’ can be appointed by Ministers.
  • This new clause would ensure that provisions allowing the UK to remain a member of the Customs Union, as currently set out in section 5 of the European Communities Act 1972 but set to be repealed by section 1 of this Act, will be enacted ahead of exit day.
  • This amendment removes the power for a Minister of the Crown to appoint exit day by regulations and ensures that exit day is fixed at 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m. for all purposes.
  • This amendment would require ‘exit day’ to be specified, for all purposes, in a separate bill seeking approval for the final terms of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It would therefore have the effect of requiring a statute on the withdrawal terms — whatever they might be — to be passed by Parliament before ‘exit day’.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 44 and 45 would empower Parliament to control the length and basic terms of transitional arrangements, and would allow Parliament to start the clock on the sunset clauses within the Bill.
  • To prevent the creation of different exit days for different parts of the Act by SI.
  • This amendment defines “law relating to equality or human rights” for the purposes of other amendments which would broaden protection provided by the Bill from interference with the Human Rights Act to include other provisions about human rights and equality.
  • This amendment provides a definition of pending cases for the purposes of Clause 6.
  • This amendment would prevent Ministers using delegated powers to create criminal offences which carry custodial sentences.
  • This amendment is consequential on amendment 381 and ensures that references to exit day in the Bill and other legislation operate correctly in relation to the time as well as the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment is consequential on Amendment 386 and ensures that references to exit day in the Bill and other legislation operate correctly in relation to the time as well as the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 43 and 45 would empower Parliament to control the length and basic terms of transitional arrangements, and would allow Parliament to start the clock on the sunset clauses within the Bill.
  • This amendment together with Amendments 43 and 44 would empower Parliament to control the length and basic terms of transitional arrangements, and would allow Parliament to start the clock on the sunset clauses within the Bill.
  • This amendment would allow Ministers to amend the definition of “law relating to equality or human rights” inserted by Amendment 371.
  • This new clause would ensure that the current consultative role that UK local government currently have via the EU Committee of the Regions would be replicated in the UK after exit day.
  • This new Clause would ensure that the UK can remain a member of the European Economic Area until such time as Ministers publish a specific assessment in the form of a White Paper setting out the costs and benefits for the UK of remaining a member after exit day.
  • This new Clause would require the UK Government to seek transitional arrangements that would allow existing trade agreements which currently apply to the UK to be negotiated and continued for the circumstances applying after the UK has exited the EU, and would seek transitional arrangements including an associate membership of the EU Single Market for not less than two years following exit day.
  • After exit day the European Union is likely to continue to produce legislation, regulations and decisions that would have applied to the United Kingdom if we had remained a member of the EU. This new clause would require Ministers to publish an assessment of new and developing EU laws and regulations and whether there would be benefits or costs for the UK in adopting similar legal changes to UK domestic legislation with a view to maintaining regulatory alignment with the EU as far as possible.
  • This new clause ensures that public authorities carrying out their duties arising by virtue of this act, must have regard to environmental principles currently enshrined in EU law.
  • This new clause would require the Government to lay before Parliament a strategy for maintaining co-operation with certain EU bodies and structures after exit day for the purposes of promoting the safety and welfare of children and young people.
  • This new clause seeks to maintain financial support after exit day for projects and programmes which would have been eligible for funding from the European Social Fund.
  • This new clause would require the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament a strategy for mitigating any potential risks which withdrawal from the EU might present to low income families with children.
  • This new clause would require an independent evaluation of the impact of the Act upon the health and social care sector to be made after consulting the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the relevant Northern Ireland department, service providers, those requiring health and social care services, and others.
  • This new clause would require the Secretary of State to carry out a public consultation within six months of the passing of the Act, assessing the impact of not having an EU withdrawal deal on workers in the EU who are UK citizens, and on workers in the UK who are EU citizens.
  • This new clause would require the Secretary of State to publish within six months of the passing of this Act an assessment of the impact of leaving the EU on social and medical care provision for disabled people living in the UK.
  • This new clause would require the UK Government to seek to maintain existing mutual recognition agreements and to publish a plan for UK notified bodies (such as the British Standards Institute) to continue to perform conformity assessments for medical devices and pubic health-related products deriving both within the UK and from across the EU.
  • This new clause would ensure that the objectives set out by the Prime Minister in her Florence speech are given the force of law and, if no implementation and transition period is achieved in negotiations, then exit day may not be triggered by a Minister of the Crown. The appointment of an ‘exit day’ would therefore require a fresh Act of Parliament in such circumstances.
  • The purpose of this new clause is to ensure that the Bill does not remove or prejudice rights (for instance in the financial services field) which, as a result of the UK’s (and Gibraltar’s) common
  • This new clause would (a) commit the Government to seeking to replicate in the withdrawal agreement the framework for mutual recognition of professional qualifications the UK has at present and (b) allow competent UK authorities to continue to recognise EU qualifications as equivalent to their UK counterparts.
  • This new clause would ensure that after withdrawal from the EU, the UK continued to participate in the Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.
  • This new clause would require a Minister to report before exit day on the Government’s progress in negotiating mutual market access for financial and professional services
  • This new clause would require a Minister to report before exit day on the Government’s progress in negotiating mutual recognition of controls on food and feed imports. It would also require the Government to permit, so far as possible, full cost recovery for authorities carrying out border inspections of food or feed.
  • This new clause would ensure that legislation in connection with withdrawal from the EU does not reduce protections provided by equality law.
  • This new clause calls for the Government to lay a report before Parliament laying out how cross-
  • The amendment would make clear that the Bill does not modify the interpretation of contracts relating to EU law.
  • This amendment would remove the additional power provided in paragraph 3.
  • This amendment and Amendment 190 are in consequence of Amendment 165 as no restriction relating to retained EU law on the making of subordinate legislation by the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers would apply.
  • This amendment would remove the future powers to make subordinate legislation in paragraph 5.
  • This amendment and Amendment 189 are in consequence of Amendment 165 to Schedule 3 as no restriction relating to retained EU law on the making of subordinate legislation by the Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Ministers will apply.
  • This amendment would retain the provisions of the European Economic Area Act 1993 as part of domestic legislation beyond exit day.
  • This amendment would amend the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 on the right of the Advocate General to take part in proceedings in consequence of removing the restriction on the competence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government by Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3.
  • This amendment would amend the status of EU-derived domestic legislation to subordinate legislation for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • This amendment would remove the proposal to allow secondary legislation to be treated as primary for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • This amendment, together with Amendments 139 and 141, would restore the right to obtain damages after exit day in respect of governmental failures before exit day to comply with European Union obligations.
  • This amendment, together with Amendments 139 and 140, would restore the right to obtain damages after exit day in respect of governmental failures before exit day to comply with European Union obligations.
  • This amendment would require all tertiary legislation made under powers conferred by regulations to be subject to Parliamentary control.
  • This amendment, with Amendments 193, 194 and 195, is in consequence of Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3 which would remove the powers to make an Order in Council to adjust the new restriction on the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
  • This amendment, with Amendments 192, 194 and 195, is in consequence of Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3 which would remove the powers to make an Order in Council to adjust the new restriction on the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
  • This amendment, with Amendments 192, 193 and 195, is in consequence of Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3 which would remove the powers to make an Order in Council to adjust the new restriction on the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
  • This amendment, with Amendments 192, 193 and 194, is in consequence of Amendments 164 and 165 to Clause 11 and Schedule 3 which would remove the powers to make an Order in Council to adjust the new restriction on the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
  • This amendment is a consequential amendment resulting from Amendments 78, 79 and 80 to Clause 1 requiring the Prime Minister to reach an agreement on EEA and Customs Union membership, to gain the consent of the devolved legislatures and to report on the effect leaving the EU will have on the block grant before implementing section 1 of this Act.
  • This amendment is intended to ensure that before March 2019 (or the end of any extension to the two-year negotiation period) a referendum on the terms of the deal has to be held and provides the text of the referendum question.
  • This amendment is a consequential amendment resulting from Amendments 78, 79 and 80 to Clause 1 requiring the Prime Minister to reach an agreement on EEA and Customs Union membership, gain the consent of the devolved legislatures and report on the effect leaving the EU will have on the block grant before implementing section 1 of this Act.
  • This amendment would make the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day conditional on the Prime Minister reaching an agreement for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EEA and Customs Union.
  • This amendment makes the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day conditional on the Prime Minister gaining consent from the devolved legislatures.
  • This amendment would require the UK Government to lay a report before the National Assembly for Wales outlining the effect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Welsh finances, before exercising the power under section 1. This would allow for scrutiny of the Leave Campaign’s promise to maintain current levels of EU funding for Wales.
  • This amendment would require the UK Government to lay a report before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales outlining the effect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU Single Market and Customs Union before exercising the powers in section 1.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government report on which Scottish products will be identified with geographical indications in any future trade deal that Her Majesty’s Government negotiates after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU on Scottish businesses.
  • This amendment would require publication of a Government assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU on food and drink safety and quality standards.

Think of a number


The UK is currently deadlocked on talks with the EU over how to not have a border on the island of Ireland (no idea) how to settle citizens rights (stop being a dick about it) and the question of money — lets talk about that last one.

The EU wants us to agree to the principle that financial commitments made as 28 will be paid as 28. That means we need to go through the very big list of things that we have committed to funding in the UK and around the EU27 including loans and pensions and all that jazz. We could do that, but our side don’t want to bother. They would rather throw out random numbers and say “we would never pay €100bn” or “we could maybe pay €20bn”. It is all rather silly, we shouldn’t be starting with guessing at acceptable numbers but doing the work to come up with a correct number. Nevertheless, we are where we are, in negotiations with our side being a bunch of workshy layabouts who don’t want to engage with the problem or even turn up to do the job.

There might be an alternative approach to this, let me take you back in time to 27th March 1972 (image swirls, we are all now dressed like Austin Powers — yeah baby) and we can take a look at the accession treaty that took the UK into the EU, specifically Article 130 — the financial on-ramp that meant we were not paying in full for commitments jointly made prior to our accession.

The Communities’ own resources and also the financial contributions and, where appropriate, the contributions referred to in Article 4(2), ( 3 ) and (4) of the Decision of 21 April 1970 shall be due from the new Member States to the following extent only :

45.0% in 1973
56.0% in 1974
67.5% in 1975
79.5% in 1976
92.0% in 1977.

So there we have it, our contributions to the EU built up over 5 years as we joined. If the Tories are going to continue to be workshy layabouts then lets think of a number that makes sense. If we take our current contribution to the EU budget of around £13.1bn and then pay that over 5 years with a mirroring off-ramp, so 92% of it in the year after Brexit down to 45% in 2025 then that sum would be £44.54bn. It is in the ballpark of the figures that have been discussed, it is arguable that it is fair, it is affordable, it is decreasing, it has some justification. Lets sling it out there, and see if that is enough to allow the disgraced former defence secretary Liam Fox to get on with some trade deals.

Musings on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

On 29th March 2019 a large chunk of the law that we have to follow in the UK will vanish. The treaties of the EU (TEU and TFEU) will no longer apply to the UK and the European Communities Act 1972 will be repealed (or will be rendered obsolete) and a heap of EU stuff will not apply in the UK. We will stop being a member state of the union.

Firstly lets spend a moment to understand what exactly all that stuff is. The EU makes law in two main ways, Directives and Regulations. Directives are orders to the 28 member states to achieve a goal but they don’t specify how to do it. Take a look for example at 2006/40/EC relating to emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles. The key bit is article 10 “Member States shall adopt and publish by 4 January 2008 the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive.” so for these things, the member states pass domestic laws. In our case, we passed (amongst other things probably) “The Motor Vehicles (Refilling of Air Conditioning Systems by Service Providers) Regulations 2009” which is a statutory instrument (an SI is a little law that the government doesn’t want to bother parliament with too much, so they leave it on the desk in the Commons for a few weeks in case anyone wants to read it, then it becomes law automatically). So, in the case of this directive we already have the UK law we need, and that law will still be UK law after Brexit.

Next up is regulations. These are EU laws that don’t require domestic implementation. These are the things that freak out the quitters, EU laws made in Brussels (and passed by the democratically elected MEPs) that have direct applicability in the UK without the UK parliament being involved in the process. These don’t do anything particularly scary, they can’t create criminal offences, but they can have an impact on various areas of safety, trade, product design and life in general. Regulations end with the phrase “This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.”

Lets have a look at a recent regulation. 2017/1369 (go and skim read it now, I will wait) is a regulation on labelling products with energy efficiency ratings. Thanks to earlier efforts in this area products are becoming much more efficient, so now many things are A rated on that familiar scale from A to G (or A+++ to D sometimes) that you get stuck on appliances like washing machines etc. In response to this progress they now want to raise the bar and re-scale the thresholds so that consumers can differentiate between the new more efficient products. There is going to be a bit of a redesign of the label and the criteria get tougher. Innocuous stuff really.

The Withdrawal bill (explanatory notes and Commons Library research paper) will take all direct regulations and copy the text of them into UK law. It will then give the government sweeping powers to fix those regulations to make them work in a UK context. This means that 2017/1369 is going to be scooped up and posted to legislation.gov.uk in verbatim form on Brexit day. Then they will “fix” it. What does that mean exactly? Well, the end result we want is pretty clear. We want it to be UK law that Currys will flog washing machines with the right energy labels on them, the same as you get if you walk into Darty. Maybe at some point we will have our own scheme like the Australian labels which would no doubt be a bold thrusting expression of our independence and sovereignty. Does scooping up the regulation and calling it UK law do that? Not really! It empowers the commission to set up product databases, it sets up consultation groups, working plans, gives authority for supplementary delegated acts and on the way it does set some obligations for suppliers and dealers to distribute the appropriate ratings with the products. This would make horrific UK law if it became post-Brexit law in the current state. It isn’t something that can be fixed with a quick find and replace, it needs a root and branch re-write. There is nothing special about the example I picked, it is just the latest of 12000 or so they intend to transpose in two years — at a proposed rate of something like 120 a week for two years solid! You will note that there is no worked example of transposing any regulation through the process defined in the bill, and there is no evidence to suggest that a rate of 120/week is achievable and sustainable. There is no obstacle to fixing up a small random sample of regulations and a back of the envelope calculation would reveal whether the job fits in the time available.

Our law lasts a long time, this post-Brexit law making rush is going to have to set the UK up for centuries to come. The current Withdrawal act plan is going to set in stone a lot of very very badly drafted law.

Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!

So, I can moan about this incompetent approach, but that doesn’t help things unless I suggest a different way. I do have one that I think is legally fairly sound (any lawyers want to correct me on that?) and workable. We should pass a law that makes it an offence to take advantage of the lack of regulation post-Brexit. This would create an obligation on everyone to do roughly what would have been done if we were a member state where at all possible.

That would mean that vendors of washing machines would have an obligation to put the appropriate stickers on because that is what they would do if there was a valid regulation in force. It would be an offence to stick A rated stickers on a C rated appliance — not because we have any particular efficiency regulation, but because doing so would be taking advantage of the unregulated situation. This law would persist while the UK passes new red white and blue regulations written from scratch to do whatever parliament wants them to do. I would call it the “Don’t Be a Dick While We Get Our Shit Together Act of 2019” which I think sums up the essence of it in a way that everyone should understand.

This approach does not require any Henry VIII super powers, it does not require an impossible parliamentary workload, it shifts some of the interpretation of what should be done to the courts on a case by case basis until there is settled UK law. It means that we have some semblance of functional law on day 1 rather than a complete mess that becomes live UK law with an intention to patch it up over the following two years before the government super powers expire.

So, how bad is this Henry VIII stuff anyway?

To wrap up my musings, lets just talk about what everyone else is talking about with regards to the Withdrawal Bill — those Henry VIII powers that allow the government to do pretty much anything. I think a sense of perspective is required here, what we have is Jim Hacker requesting lots of power for Sir Humphrey Appleby’s team to do a ridiculous amount of work to unbreak the thousands of EU regulations that they plan to make into post-Brexit acts of UK law. There is no particularly evil intent here, the Sir Humphreys will be writing all the statutory instruments to patch the laws. There will be some minor conniving going on, where they can get away with it, but Sir Humphrey isn’t going to introduce the death penalty (at least not for people who went to a respectable university). We can relax in the knowledge that the Henry VIII powers will just be wielded by unelected pen pushing bureaucrats. It is an interesting side effect of the “take back control” agenda I suppose, but worrying about the power grab seems like a bit of a distraction from the big issue that the job can’t be done, and will create centuries of bad law if it is attempted.

Boris, Sikhism and Booze

Today Boris Johnson embarrassed the country by talking in a Sikh Gurdwara about the whisky tariffs of India, offering the prospect of the 150% tariff being reduced to nothing with a free trade deal. Alcohol is prohibited in Sikhism, but as Boris may have known, this is treated as more of a guideline and in a social setting a wee dram or two might well be considered acceptable refreshment. He should also have known that a Gurdwara was not the place to promote whisky, especially with the phrase “they all like it” and talking about taking “clinkie” in luggage for relatives.

Setting aside the diplomatic faux pas, lets dig a little deeper into the tariff issue. Boris is right that India imposes a 150% tariff on imports of foreign whisky. This is to protect their domestic whisky (which is actually rum) production from imports. The Indian authorities would very much like to export their whisky (which is actually rum) to the EU, but they complain that the EU has rules preventing them from marketing it in the EU as whisky (because it is rum). I wonder if you can guess which member of the EU is the most insistent on the EU maintaining a firm line on this? The point here is that Boris isn’t offering a zero tariff on whisky, he is seeking a zero tariff on whisky. The tariff is paid by Indian importers to the Indian government when they import our whisky. Our producers face the tariff but don’t pay or collect the tariff. They just sell less because the tariff makes them noncompetitive against local whisky (which is rum). We need to offer something to get a trade deal, such as letting them sell rum in the UK labeled as whisky, alongside the Scotch. Did you guess the country yet?

So, do we have import duty on whisky (or rum)? In general no, we don’t. There is no import tariff. There is however alcohol duty. For spirits that is £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol, so a 70cl bottle of Directors Special at 42.8% would attract duty of £8.61 to be paid to HMRC by the importer when it leaves the bonded warehouse at the docks. Boris can’t offer wiggle room on this as part of a trade deal — it isn’t a trade matter, we can’t vary it based on country of origin, it simply isn’t an import tariff, it is an alcohol duty.

There are other things we can offer India as part of a trade deal, it isn’t whisky for whisky, there are other product lines where we could liberalise trade in terms of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, also social liberalisation reducing visa barriers and enhancing freedom of movement would be good things to offer. A deal can happen, however I am not filled with confidence that our foreign secretary even knows the difference between what is being sought and what is being offered.

On the plus side, the foreign office doesn’t negotiate trade, that will be the job of the department for international trade after we exit the EU (until we exit the EU that is the department for doing nothing). Does Liam Fox know the first thing about doing a trade deal? Does he know what he is offering and seeking? One day we may find out.

Brexit and the next Thalidomide

The story of Thalidomide is a very dark tale. It caused abnormal fetal development, which was a tragedy, a terrible unexpected side effect of what was otherwise quite an effective medicine — but that wasn’t the scandal. The scandal was the failure to quickly link cause and effect and then to fail to distribute the information learned to prevent further individuals and their families from being affected.

We are now approaching 60 years from October 1st, 1957 when it first went on sale in Germany. The world has changed a lot since then. Thalidomide is making a cautious return and there are projects monitoring and analysing congenital defects across a wide area. In other news, last year the UK voted to leave the European Union, which means we need to talk a bit more about those last two links.

The European Medicines Agency is based in the UK and will be relocating to be based in the European Union. That agency licenses drugs for use in humans. Given that there are not 28 different types of human across the EU it seemed sensible to have some coordination on evaluation and licensing so it gets done once rather than 28 times. Post Brexit we will presumably have to have more of that functionality here, probably paid for out of the NHS budget (oh, you thought that was going to go up did you?).

The second link is to one of many projects that are part of the Horizon 2020 research funding scheme. Data about all of these is available on the Cordis website and you can see all the projects being coordinated by the UK, many of which have an end date after Brexit day. One of them is EUROLinkCAT which is let by Queen Mary university in London and it attracts a total of €7,348,072.75 over 5 years from the start of this year to the end of 2021. That is committed money. There will be a contract (probably several) promising that money to the project from the EU. We, as a member state, committed to that project, and we are a beneficiary of the money funding activity here and also a beneficiary of the output — amongst other things they are looking for the next Thalidomide so that if there is some combination of drugs and environmental or genetic factors that result in a subtle risk of increased congenital abnormalities then it gets spotted sooner and the tragedy isn’t followed by a scandal. It is about doing joined up work studying the topic of early years care of these patients and looking for risk factors across a wide area because it works better that way with a larger corpus of data.

The Brexit press, the media and many Brexiters are currently apoplectic about “divorce bills” and even “reparations” and “punishment beatings” with figures of €60bn or €100bn being waved about and rubbished with declarations that we will walk away and we won’t pay a penny. It is fucking stupid and those Brexiters need to grow up and engage in the detail of the conversation about Brexit and stop flinging out inaccurate emotive bullshit about what the cost of their decision may turn out to be. The settling of accounts is about what we do with projects that we have committed to funding both in the UK and around Europe. There is absolutely no point expressing an opinion on whether €60bn is too much or too little as a whole. It is made up of lots of things, each one we can choose to pay for, we may be able to choose to own it, or we can choose to dispute either the outstanding value or indeed whether it is our problem. Once you have gone through the detailed commitments and decided what to do then you can add up all the things you want to pay for and that is the number we write on the big cheque. You can’t go from the top down just because you don’t like engaging in detail.

The EUROLinkCAT project runs for 1825 days, 1005 of which are after Brexit day. If it is funded continuously then that is €4,046,472.93 in post-brexit funds that we have committed to as a pre-Brexit member state. What are we going to do? The EU starting position is that we pay a closing lump sum for our share to the EU and the EU funds the project until the end of the commitment. This particular project runs past the end of the MFF, does that make a difference to the point we stop funding it? If we don’t want to do that, we could propose that we fund our share of the cost directly. That takes it out of the visible “bill” because we decided to own it. It isn’t clear that the other member states would allow us to pay our share directly — the contract that the project has is with the EU, not us. For some projects taking ownership of the issue and funding direct might be more acceptable than others. Ultimately deciding to own something is just a political move in order to get the visible bill down, it doesn’t save the taxpayer anything in the end. The final option is to dispute it. We say that we don’t care about research into congenital abnormalities, we declare that we are a sovereign nation and can’t be forced to pay for stuff we don’t want. We tell the EU they can pay for it themselves, or move it to somewhere else, or can the whole thing, because we just don’t care. We are not going to look at the results, if we feel like it we might do our own red white and blue research into the topic at some point. This approach could be fairly described as a dick move by someone who clearly hates babies.

There are quite a few projects like that one in Horizon 2020 where we are the coordinating state. Someone needs to go through them and decide to pay/own/dispute each one. All the projects that the UK is not coordinating are also things we committed to under the EU budget, such as this one on understanding the cultural heritage of dissent in former socialist countries where there is some participation from Oxford but the project is run from Hungary. It isn’t just Horizon 2020, there are also the regional development projects, roads, bridges, tunnels, public transport etc. We might decide that a new bridge in Poland is something we don’t want to pay for but we committed budget to it as a full member state every bit as much as we committed to our joint funding obligation for the congenital abnormality project that is coordinated from London.

Once they have decided whether or not they hate babies, they also need to go through things like pensions of our MEPs and officials (all those UKIP MEPs get a pension that is in the “brexit bill” — you will hear them declare we should refuse to pay anything, but I have not heard them declare that they shouldn’t get their pensions.)

Perhaps after deciding whether or not to pay people pensions they will move on to discuss agricultural subsidies. The biggest chunk of money the EU spend in the UK is on the single farm payment. On this one there is some semblance of an answer, we have been told that HMRC will pay that at current rates through to at 2020 (the end of the MFF). This is a chunk of money that is an EU committed payment in the MFF that we will decide to own. That takes it out of the headline figure but note that it also takes it out of the mythical £350 million a week. It saves the taxpayer no money to pay this directly, but reduces the “bill” for political purposes.

Basically every plausible line item in the bill will be enumerated, we then decide to pay/own/dispute each one. If you sum the lot you get to a big figure, but you first have to go through the process of line by line decisions, this could be done quite quickly if we choose to pay most of it (owning and disputing are slower). Walking away from the table does not make the bill zero and does not mean we “fall back on WTO rules”. We don’t. WTO rules is the baseline for states in good standing. If we walk out on our obligations it may get treated as a sovereign debt default, our credit rating would be slashed and if we behave badly on trade matters the WTO can authorise sanctions against us, meaning that we don’t get most favored nation terms. None of this “remoaner project fear” stuff needs to happen, if the Brexiters grow up and re-engage with their problem. If paying loads of money to settle our outstanding commitments gets us the Brexit they wanted then great, I look forward to measurable benefits being discovered in 2019. In the meantime we have a very wide ranging damage limitation exercise to do.

Leave voters need to stop banging on about whether they will or won’t pay the grand total. They need to tell us whether or not they want to pay for continuously monitoring for another Thalidomide style scandal. They need to start to engage at a detail level. Walking away does not mean that the commitments we have made evaporate. It means that we defaulted on our payments. The question isn’t “do you want to pay €60bn?”, the question is “How do you intend to address all these individual things you appear to have committed to funding over the next several years which taken together tally up to around €60bn?”. Walking away from the table settles the question of whether you hate babies but it doesn’t settle the question of what to do with the commitments we have made.


Update!

Today the government published a document on their intended future relationship with the EU on the topic of science. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/642542/Science_and_innovation_paper.pdf

The UK recognises the need to provide certainty to all stakeholders wherever possible. This is why the Government has committed to underwrite bids for Horizon 2020 projects submitted while the UK is still a member of the EU. The UK will work with the Commission to ensure payments when funds are awarded, and Horizon 2020 participants should continue to collaborate as normal. The UK Government will continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations who play an important role in administering Horizon 2020.

So, this is progress, of a sort. This seems to be an intention to de-commit the EU from funding UK participants in Horizon2020 projects after Brexit day. The UK will take ownership of making payments to UK projects on the existing payment schedule. I am not entirely clear what “underwrite bids” means, but that is my best guess.

Jeremy Hunt on AEO status post-Brexit

Brexit is a fountain of bad ideas, but sometimes one pops out that is so strikingly stupid I can’t let it pass without comment. So went the appearance of David Davis at a select committee last month. You can watch the whole thing on the rather excellent parliamentlive.tv archive

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a44440b6-2864-4e28-9150-518e1ddfa5bc

It was this session where David Davis was asked about what would happen if there was not a deal on the future relationship with the EU within the article 50 timeframe (the clock is ticking) and he rabbited on about how customs clearance is not a big deal as most consignments are cleared within 5 seconds. This is indeed true at the moment, because we are a member of the EU. It isn’t much of a mitigation strategy for not being a member of the EU. It sounded daft, so I checked the details and wrote to my MP.

Friday 17 March 2017

Dear Jeremy Hunt,

my quest to sell the house and get out of the country continues, but whilst I am still here, I note that David Davis said in the exiting the EU select committee on Wednesday that in the event that there is no deal with the EU there are mitigation strategies that could be put in place, one of which would be using and expanding the authorised economic operators scheme down to smaller companies.

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/exiting-the-european-union-committee/the-uks-negotiating-objectives-for-its-withdrawal-from-the-eu/oral/48859.html

in response to Q1383

This scheme is not going to be open to UK companies, it has a base in law under EU regulation 648/2005 and is an EU scheme for companies established in the customs territory of the Union:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/general-information-customs/customs-security/authorised-economic-operator-aeo/authorised-economic-operator-aeo_en#who_can_become

Who can become AEO

Any economic operator established in the customs territory of the Union who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs-related operations, may apply for the AEO status.”

On Brexit day our economic operators will not be established in the customs territory of the Union. Deal or no deal. It is plausible that we could set up our own scheme and ask for a mutual recognition deal, but it is flat out insane to say that a mitigation strategy of having no deal is to use one of the key benefits that we have that derives from our status as an EU member. 
This is dangerously stupid, someone needs to provide some adult intervention here or we are going to have serious trade disruption and food shortages in our country.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Bell

and today he replied

Dear Mr Bell

Thank you for contacting me about the EU customs area.

You are right that the EU has established its Authorised Economic Status (AEO) concept. This means that the AEO status granted by one member state is recognised by customs authorities across the EU. Although the EU’s AEO concept is only open to countries in the EU customs union, the EU has already agreed the mutual recognition of AEO programmes with third party countries including Switzerland, Japan and the United States. This makes customs clearance easier and more efficient.

As I am sure you can appreciate, I would not want to pre-empt the negotiations by committing to precise details on future trading relationships. I can assure you, however, that the Government will be working to achieve the best possible deal for UK companies to trade with and operate within European markets.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Best wishes

Jeremy Hunt

So, this means that if we are going for a mutual recognition deal, they are expecting on day 1 of Brexit that the EU will fully recognise a completely untested significant IT system that doesn’t yet exist, and that we have no current plan to build as we are going to see what pops out of the negotiations first before specifying it. This is still in no way whatsoever a reply to the question about what happens in the event of “no deal”.

Some costs of Brexit

Today we see that the European Parliament has passed a resolution saying that the UK must pay for “financial costs arising directly as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal”. We also find out today the unsurprising news that the European Banking Authority and European Medical Agency are going to have to leave London and relocate. Now it is quite possible that this is going to incur a financial cost, that is directly as a result of the stupid decision to leave the EU. No doubt this will be described as a massive unwelcome surprise to the government and press. It will not however actually come as a surprise to Jeremy Hunt or DExEU because I wrote to them in September pointing this out.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Dear Jeremy Hunt,

Could you please ask DExEU which department budget will be called upon
to fund the relocation of the European Banking Authority and the
European Medicine Agency should they have to be moved to a different
country and the UK is found to be liable for relocation costs. I do
hope that as minister for health you would resist the EMA relocation
costs being paid from the NHS budgets.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Bell

I should probably include his reply, hardly seems worth it though:

Many thanks for your email regarding UK withdrawal from the EU. We are about to begin these negotiations and it would be wrong to set out further unilateral positions in advance. At every step of these negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

Thank you once again for writing to me.

Best wishes

Jeremy Hunt

She was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless, she persisted

Earlier this month I wrote an email to Lord Bridges of Headley, with some suggestions on how to make Brexit a tiny bit safer. Today, in the post I got a letter in reply (on fancy paper and everything). The reply basically regurgitates stuff we already know from the white paper and speeches, it is the government line. That said, they got my email, someone read it, and they will carry on regardless.

Thursday 2 February 2017

Lord Bridges of Headley House of Lords London SW1A 0PW

Dear Lord Bridges of Headley,

I do want you to make a success of Brexit, but I just don’t think the government is going in the right direction. There are some steps you could take to reassure people that the government has got the capacity to do the work required.

I want the government to present a fully worked example of how they would calculate our external schedule of tariffs and quotas for several interesting products (beef & citrus perhaps as that touches on quantitative tariff breaks and seasonal protectionist tariffs for a product we don’t produce), and a plan on how they intend to complete that work in the two year timescale before starting the clock ticking.

The second thing I want them to do is to present a fully worked example of transposing an EU regulation into UK law, as they intend to do under the great repeal act. This would expose various problems and things that become illegal to do in the UK under UK law because we are not a member state, or it would require our courts to notify EU member state courts in ways that can’t be reciprocated if we are not a member state etc. Plus they should present a plan on how they intend to complete that work in the two year timescale before invoking article 50.

Thirdly I would like the government to explain in detail what a transitional arrangement is. What goes on the front cover of the document it is written in? Who is a party to it? What gives it legal effect? What can and can’t be covered in a transition. Normally transitions are written in the destination treaty, if we are going to WTO rules then there is no destination treaty in which to write them. The government needs to explain how they think this will work before invoking article 50.

None of these in any way whatsoever expose the government’s negotiating strategy or weaken our position. Every one of them strengthens the credibility of our “walk away” option.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Bell