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Arrangement of Business

Volume 796: debated on Wednesday 27 March 2019


My Lords, at its meeting this afternoon, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments considered the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which is our next item of business. To assist the debate, an extract of its report is being made available now in the Printed Paper Office. I suggest that the House do now adjourn during pleasure for 30 minutes so that all noble Lords participating in the debate have the opportunity to take note of what the committee had to say. I therefore beg to move that the House do adjourn during pleasure until 5.11 pm.

Can the noble Baroness confirm that the Joint Committee’s assessment of the statutory instrument consists of one line?

I would like to answer that factually to the noble Lord, but I have not had a chance to peruse the report in detail. A bit of paper was waved before me, but as to its contents I cannot comment further. I have put the Motion to the House.

I am a member of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, and coming from our meeting this afternoon, I can say very clearly what is the conclusion of the Joint Committee and I do not think that noble Lords need half an hour to read it. The committee agreed that the statutory instrument ensures that the position in international law is exactly replicated in UK law in accordance with the European Communities Act 1972. The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments considered the SI at our meeting today and found no reason to doubt the vires of the instrument. I understand that that is all the committee will be communicating to the House.

In fact, the extract that has been given to us does not include the paragraph. What has been made available in the Printed Paper Office simply states that the Draft European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Exit Day) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 is an instrument,

“to which the Committee does not draw the special attention of both Houses”.

Well, I am very grateful that so many noble Lords have had the advantage of what I have not had the advantage of, which is seeing what this bit of paper says. But I detect from noble Lords that there is an awareness of what it says and it seems to be brief. For the benefit of those who have not managed to get to the Printed Paper Office—and that includes myself—and have not attended the Chamber this afternoon, would it be acceptable if we adjourn during pleasure for 10 minutes? Let us say that we reconvene at 4.53 pm.

Sitting suspended.