Lords examines EU exit regulations

The House of Lords chamber at work.
23 January 2019

The House of Lords examined 10 statutory instruments preparing for Brexit on Tuesday 22 January.

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 SIs examined on Tuesday 22 January 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.

The proposed SIs make changes to laws on:

  1. financial services, funds and investments
  2. safety standards for protection from ionising radiation
  3. shipments of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel
  4. nuclear safeguards
  5. invasive non-native species
  6. floods and water

All these SIs were made under the draft affirmative procedure, meaning they needed to be approved by Parliament before they could 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 debates by Lords members on the floor of the House, all the SI approval motions were agreed to.

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.

SLSC Sub-Committee B reported on both SIs making changes to laws on nuclear safeguards:

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2019 / Photography by Roger Harris

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