On Tuesday 5 March, the House of Lords examined 10 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. Social security systems
2. Financial services and markets
5. Financial services based in Gibraltar trading in the UK
6. Mortgage lending
7. Financial regulators' powers
The Brexit SIs under examination on Tuesday 5 March 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 regulations, the House also debated two non-Brexit SIs on social security benefits and local elections in Northern Ireland.
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.
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 regulations making changes to laws on Financial Services and Markets.
SLSC (Sub-Committee B) reported on the regulations making changes to laws on financial services firms based in Gibraltar which operate within the UK and Financial Regulators' Powers.