Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

Secondary legislation and the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - inquiry into the sifting criteria

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Report published 20 July 2018. Government response published 11 June 2019.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee is conducting a short inquiry investigating the criteria which should be applied in deciding whether a statutory instrument (SI) to be laid under clauses 7 to 9 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill should be upgraded from a negative to an affirmative procedure instrument.

Affirmative SIs are debated in the House while negative instruments are not and automatically passed unless a Member tables an objection.

The House of Commons has already agreed to establish a European Statutory Instruments Committee (ESIC) with power to recommend that an SI laid under clauses 7 to 9, which the Government intend should be subject to the negative procedure, should be upgraded to the affirmative procedure. During the recent committee stage debate of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the Lords, the Leader, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, said that a similar sifting function should be undertaken in the Lords and that it should be achieved by incorporating it into the terms of reference of the SLSC.

The aim of this narrowly-focused inquiry is to seek views on what factors the SLSC should be considering when deciding whether to recommend that a proposed negative instrument should instead be subject to the affirmative procedure.

Call for evidence

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