Parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation

Thank you for contacting me about Parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation in relation to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

My own impression is that Clauses 7, 8 and 9 provide very careful constraints on the scope of secondary legislation. They clearly limit that secondary legislation to adjusting law which would otherwise become nonsense after Brexit – e.g. requirements for companies and public bodies in the UK to seek permissions of various sorts from the European Commission.

Given that the constraints imposed by these Clauses are perfectly sensible, and given that Parliament has to approve all secondary legislation, there is no structural problem here.

There is, however, a practical problem – because Parliament does not have at present a mechanism adequate to the task of verifying whether each of the relevant pieces of secondary legislation that will follow the Bill are actually compliant with Clauses 7, 8 and 9. I shall therefore be suggesting in today’s Debate that a new mechanism should be set up to enable Parliament to be confident that each relevant piece of secondary legislation has been properly scrutinized for compliance with those Clauses.

Thank you again for contacting me.