The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee (DPLR) has published its report on the supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM) on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This report will be considered as part of the Finance and Constitution Committee’s broader scrutiny of the supplementary LCM.
The DPLR Committee’s main conclusions are as follows:
• This report has been agreed at a time when there continues to be uncertainty about which bill (either the UK Government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill or the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill) or which combination of bill will be relied upon.
• Irrespective of which bill or combination bills is ultimately pursued, there are a number of fundamental principles that the Committee would expect to be at the centre of the approach to the delivery of the package of secondary legislation required for the purposes of the UK’s Withdrawal from the EU.
• As recognised by both sets of Ministers, there must be coordination and cooperation between governments for this process to work.
• While the Committee accepts that broad powers are necessary to deliver this programme of secondary legislation, those powers must still be tightly defined and both Scottish and UK Ministers should only have the capacity to do what is necessary for the purposes of this exercise.
• Instruments and proposals for instruments (where appropriate) should be laid in a way that allows for effective parliamentary consideration and enables stakeholders to contribute to that consideration.
Graham Simpson MSP said:
“Whether or not consent is given, we accept that broad powers are needed in these unusual circumstances. However, any new powers given to Ministers must not go beyond what is essential”.
The full report is available here.
The DPLR Committee is reporting on the delegated powers in the Bill rather than the Bill as a whole. Further details are available here.