Sifting period

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 created a new procedure for negative statutory instruments (SIs) that relate to exiting the EU. If a Minister proposes to make an SI using negative procedure, they must first lay the draft SI before Parliament so that it can be considered by a committee of each House. The committees have 10 sitting days to recommend whether the draft SI should be subject to negative or affirmative procedure.

The Minister is not obliged to follow the recommendation of either committee, but must give reasons for disagreeing with it.

If either committee has not made its recommendation within the 10-day sifting period, the Minister may go ahead and make the SI.

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