Call for Evidence on the Delegated Powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill


The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee is today issuing a call for evidence in relation to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

The Committee will consider the delegated powers in the Bill that are to be conferred on Scottish Ministers.

Graham Simpson MSP, Convener of the Committee said:

“Our focus will be on the powers the UK Government plans to confer on Scottish Ministers under the Bill.

“We want to hear views on whether it’s appropriate to confer these powers on Scottish Ministers, whether they are appropriately framed and workable and whether the parliamentary scrutiny procedures are sufficient.” 

The Committee’s call for evidence sets out the areas that the Committee is particularly interested in receiving evidence. It can be found on the Committee’s webpage. The Committee is keen, however, to hear views on all aspects of the Bill that are within its remit.

Background information

The UK Government introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (“the Bill”) on 13 July 2017.  The Explanatory Notes to the Bill state that it performs four main functions.  It:

  • Repeals the European Communities Act 1972;
  • Converts EU law as it stands at the moment of exit into domestic law before the UK leaves the EU;
  • Creates power to make secondary legislation, including temporary powers to enable corrections to be made to the laws that would no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU and to implement a withdrawal agreement, and
  • Maintains the current scope of devolved decision-making powers in areas currently governed by EU law. 

The Committee’s role in considering the Bill encompasses the following areas:

  • The Committee will consider whether it is appropriate for powers to be delegated to the Scottish Ministers in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
  • The Committee will consider the breadth of the powers. Are the powers too widely drawn? Could they be expressed in a way that makes it clearer how the powers will be exercised?
  • The Committee considers the correlation between the policy intention as expressed in the Delegated Powers Memorandum and what the Bill enables the Scottish Ministers to do in exercise of the power.
  • The Committee will consider whether the powers are subject to an appropriate level of parliamentary scrutiny.

The Bill and the Delegated Powers Memorandum can be found on the House of Commons website.


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