The House of Lords examined six statutory instruments preparing for Brexit on Tuesday 26 February.
A statutory instrument (SI), a type of secondary legislation, is a law created under powers given by an Act of Parliament. It is used to fill in the details of Acts (primary legislation).
The proposed SIs make changes to laws on:
1. Shipment of radioactive waste
2. Energy market
3. Safeguarding security of gas supply
4. Cross-border trade in electricity
These SIs were considered in Grand Committee, a room outside the Lords chamber. In Grand Committee, any member can take part but no votes can take place.
The Brexit SIs under examination on Tuesday 26 February were all made under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, and are changes to the law to be made in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
In addition to the EU Exit SIs, the Lords also debated two other SIs on the carriage of dangerous goods and energy efficiency in private rented property.
All these SIs were made under the draft affirmative procedure, meaning they needed to be approved by Parliament before they can be made (signed into law) and brought into effect as law. Draft affirmative SIs can be stopped if either House votes against the government’s motion calling for the SI to be approved.
Following the debates in the House of Lords, all the SIs under consideration were approved.
The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (SLSC) examines every SI, including all EU Exit SIs. It publishes reports drawing members' attention to SIs.
SLSC Sub-Committee A reported on the SIs making changes to laws on supplies of gas and electricity and the energy market.