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Lords EU exit regulations: 25 March

26 March 2019


On Monday 25 March, the House of Lords examined eight statutory instruments preparing for Brexit.

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. Emissions and fuel consumption of heavy duty vehicles
2. Food and farming
3. Plant health
4. Criminal justice
5. Contractual and non-contractual obligations
6. Regulation of architecture profession
7. Flying the Union and European flags

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 Monday 25 March are 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.

All these SIs are made under the draft affirmative procedure, meaning they need to be approved by both Houses of 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 Grand Committee all of the SIs under consideration were approved apart from the regulations on flying the UK and EU flags. The motion to approve the Flags (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 was negatived (not approved) and so this will return to the Chamber for consideration on Wednesday 27 March.

Lords scrutiny

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.

Further information

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