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LEGISLATIVE BACKLOG IF NO DEAL BREXIT

The timely report issued by the Institute for Government on 31 January 2019 ‘Brexit: two months to go’ (Joe Owens, Tim Durrant) is a reminder of how much key legislation remains unfinished, and is unlikely to be enacted before 29 March 2019.

The report notes that the EU Withdrawal Act, Sanction Act, Road Haulage Act, Nuclear Safeguards Act and Customs Act all received Royal Assent in 2018.

However, the Trade Bill, Agriculture Bill, Fisheries Bill, Immigration Bill, Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill and Financial Services Bill remain in Parliament with substantial stages of the main Bills yet to be completed.

In addition, the report notes that as of 25 January, only 100 of around 600 statutory instruments have completed their passage through Parliament, with some 250 yet to be introduced to Parliament.

The report gives a snapshot of the UK’s readiness or lack of it in key areas, including the border, citizens and migration, agriculture, fisheries and food, health, transport, services, energy and environment, competition tax and data, law and justice, EU programmes and funds, and international agreements.

In the area of energy and environment, the report notes that the UK will no longer be bound by EU regulations, making trade more complicated. It refers to the Office for Nuclear Regulation building its capacity to take on its new role, but considers that the proposed Office for Environmental Protection will not be in place until 2021 at the earliest (see separate coverage on this site of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill). It correctly refers to exporters in highly regulated sectors such as chemicals facing major challenges after Brexit (see separate articles on this site on REACH and Brexit). It notes that security of electricity supply to Northern Ireland in the case of no deal is a major risk.

Large numbers of businesses are clearly going to be faced with new laws, new regulations, and new administrative arrangements in fundamentally important areas such as customs, enacted at speed. Without trying to second guess the direction of the political process, we remain ready to help businesses react quickly to new legislative and regulatory environments. To discuss legislative and regulatory support, please contact William Wilson, Barrister – Director, Wyeside Consulting Ltd at info@wyesideconsulting.com tel +(0)1225-730-407

The Institute for Government report is here

William Wilson