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European Union Directives

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the procedure her Department follows to transpose an EU directive into United Kingdom law. [113770]

Defra's policy is to transpose in such a way as to achieve the objectives of the European measure on time and in accordance with other UK policy goals, including minimising the burdens on business. A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is started before the Commission formally publishes its proposal, and is then developed as the proposal goes through negotiation and at the transposition stage. A Risk Management approach is used, ensuring that the risks are identified and evaluated for Ministers.The normal procedure is that a project plan for transposition is developed, and a draft legal text of implementing regulation is prepared. Collective ministerial agreement for implementing regulations is sought, and the implementing regulations are laid before Parliament. Defra works closely with colleagues in the Devolved Administrations and where applicable, the Government of Gibraltar, to ensure effective and timely transposition of the Directive throughout the UK.