Wednesday 18 November 2020
The Grand Committee met in a hybrid proceeding.
Arrangement of Business
My Lords, the hybrid Grand Committee will now begin. Some Members are here in person, others are participating remotely, but all Members will be treated equally. I must ask Members in the Room to wear a face covering, except when seated at their desk, to speak sitting down and to wipe down their desk, chair and other touch points before and after use. If there is a Division in the House, the Committee will adjourn for five minutes.
The microphone system for physical participants has changed. Members’ microphones will no longer be turned on at all times to reduce noise for remote participants. When it is your turn to speak, please press the button on your microphone stand. Once you have done that, wait for the green flashing light to turn red before you start speaking. The process for unmuting and muting for remote participants remains the same. The time limit for the first debate is one hour.
Ship Recycling (Facilities and Requirements for Hazardous Materials on Ships) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
My Lords, these draft regulations will be made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in order to give effect to the Northern Ireland protocol in the withdrawal agreement.
The United Kingdom has already introduced European Union exit legislation on ship recycling. The Ship Recycling (Facilities and Requirements for Hazardous Materials on Ships) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, approved by your Lordships’ House on 29 January 2019, will come into force at the end of this year. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that our retained legislation on ship recycling will continue to be legally operable, and to transfer functions from the European Commission to the Secretary of State.
The regulations before the Committee today are necessary to implement the Northern Ireland protocol, which addresses the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland. The Northern Ireland protocol includes provisions in Article 5 which specify that certain provisions of EU law will apply in respect of Northern Ireland. The EU ship recycling regulation is one of the provisions listed in Annexe 2 of the protocol. As a consequence, EU law will affect ship recycling facilities in Northern Ireland.
The EU ship recycling regulation transposed key parts of the Hong Kong convention on recycling of ships into EU law. The provisions apply to ship recycling facilities in the EU and to EU-flagged merchant ships above 500 gross tonnes. They do not apply to military vessels.
The main provisions of the EU regulation have applied from 31 December 2018 and include: rules about the authorisation and permitting of ship recycling facilities; the steps EU and non-EU ship recycling facilities should take if they want to be listed in the EU’s approved list of ship recycling facilities, known as the European list; a requirement that all EU-flagged ships must be recycled at an approved ship recycling facility, according to a certified ship recycling plan; and a requirement that all new EU-flagged ships must carry a valid inventory of hazardous materials. The EU regulation also requires existing EU-flagged ships, as well as non-EU flagged ships calling at European ports, to carry an inventory of hazardous materials by the end of 2020.
The new draft regulations amend the 2019 exit regulations. This in turn amends the retained EU ship recycling regulation and devolved legislation which affects Northern Ireland. I stress at this point that we have consulted Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive about the changes to the draft regulations, and they have given their consent.
This instrument makes two substantive changes. First, it amends the provisions affecting ship recycling facilities in Northern Ireland to reflect our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol. In particular, it prohibits facilities not on the EU’s approved European list from recycling EU-flagged ships, and it requires competent authorities in Northern Ireland to notify the Secretary of State about any change in the authorisation or permitting status of their facilities. It also requires the Secretary of State to notify the European Commission of any such changes.
The impact of the protocol means that the existing arrangements for Northern Ireland facilities will remain the same at the end of the implementation period. Facilities in Northern Ireland will remain listed in Part A of the European list, which covers facilities located in the EU and in the European Economic Area. Secondly, the draft regulations will incorporate changes to reflect the fact that, by the end of this year, existing UK ships and non-UK ships calling at UK ports must carry an inventory of hazardous materials. This is a welcome development, because new ships are already required to carry a certified inventory. Applying this provision to existing ships should result in a more coherent and complete regime for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.
Ensuring the safe and environmentally sound dismantling and recycling of ships at the end of their operational life has been a concern for a number of years. Many ships are currently dismantled on beaches in Asia, with little regard for human safety or protection for the environment. It is important, therefore, that we continue to have an effective ship recycling regime, which protects public health and the environment.
The changes introduced by this instrument will ensure that environmental law continues to function at the end of the transition period and demonstrates that the UK is implementing its commitments under the Northern Ireland protocol. I commend these regulations to the Committee.
The noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, has withdrawn, so the next speaker is the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw.
My Lords, I do not believe that this measure should take us very long. The dismantling of old ships is an extremely hazardous process and, as the Minister just said, very detrimental to the health of those involved. By the time ships are old enough to be broken up, however, they have probably dropped away from the register of the most compliant countries and from the register of companies that have strong trade union representatives to enforce compliance with the standards.
I do not wish to delay in any way what is proposed. I understand that in Northern Ireland people cannot set up ship-breaking facilities that would in any way offend against health and safety or other laws that pertain to ship owning. I give these regulations my support. I do not believe that it is necessary that we should leave the European Union—we have said so many times—but I cannot find anything to which I object in the regulations.
My Lords, neither ship recycling nor Northern Ireland are my territory, though church is sometimes seen as an ark to gather people safely and hazardous materials are a concern for us all. It is important for Northern Ireland to thrive as best it can within the new political arrangements that are still unfolding. The purpose of this SI is clear and not controversial; it is to the benefit of one shipyard in Northern Ireland. The EU has developed a good scheme for overseeing this process and I am sure we will be glad to continue to use it.
I was very struck by the statement that an impact assessment has not been prepared for this SI, because there are no significant impacts—well, yes and no. Yes, in the narrow confines of the SI; no, because it all depends on what is being measured. Shipping is a key part of the transport carbon footprint—not just marine diesel, although, heaven knows, agreements about that internationally are hard enough to get. More and more, we are looking at the whole life cycle of manufacture, use and disposal, as the Minister pointed out in her introduction.
One impact of Covid-19 is an increase in the scrappage of car carriers, ore carriers and cruise ships. There are jobs here—more importantly there is the need to raise our ambition with regard to environmental legislation brought across from the EU. Here is a wonderful opportunity to set out our ambition for a circular economy. I hope that, come January, our sights might be raised to meet that sort of ambition. That said, the SI does not really pose a problem, but it is an opportunity to set out more of the goals that I think lie ahead of us in relation to our environmental responsibilities.
I thank the Minister for her explanation of the content and purpose of these draft regulations, which contain provisions that allow for Northern Ireland’s position post Brexit and the potentially divergent regulations on ship recycling that result.
The existing EU regulation on ship recycling, which seeks to ensure that ships flagged in EU countries are recycled only at well-regulated facilities, irrespective of where they are located, is, as the Minister said, one of the provisions listed in the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the withdrawal agreement. As a result, the EU regulation will continue to apply in Northern Ireland as it has effect in EU law, rather than the retained version which applies to the rest of the UK, without any further provision being made.
The existing EU regulation enabled the European Commission to set up a list of approved recycling facilities at which ships may be recycled. Part A of the list covers ship recycling facilities in a member state and Part B such facilities located in a third country. As I understand it, 41 ship recycling facilities are shown on the EU list, of which nine are non-EU facilities. There have been up to four UK ship recycling facilities in Part A of the list at any one time. However, the listing of the three facilities located on the UK mainland will now become void, but the ship recycling facility in Northern Ireland will continue to be listed under Part A of the European list. The three ship recycling facilities on the UK mainland will need to reapply for inclusion in Part B of the European list, as a non-EU third country if they want to continue recycling EU-flagged ships from next year.
The UK Government will be required to set out a list of UK ship recycling facilities and only those on the list can be used for UK ship recycling in Northern Ireland. The ship recycling facilities in Northern Ireland will need to be on the United Kingdom list before they can recycle any UK-flagged ships. The EU and UK list of approved ship recycling facilities can overlap, depending on the separate decisions of the EU Commission and the UK Government.
The draft instrument is intended to ensure that the legal framework relating to ship recycling remains legally operable, with particular regard to the protocol once the implementation period under which the UK continues to be subject to EU rules comes to an end as from the beginning of next year. As the Minister said, the draft instrument also takes account of the need under present EU regulations for existing ships to carry an inventory of hazardous materials before the end of this year. This now becomes part of retained EU law.
I have just a few questions. Where are the present UK mainland and Northern Ireland existing approved ship recycling facilities? Will the existing three UK mainland facilities be reapplying for inclusion on Part B of the European list and, if so, is there any reason to believe that they might not be accepted? Will the Northern Ireland ship recycling facility be on the UK list? Finally, is bringing into force the terms and requirements of this draft regulation likely to have any impact on jobs and workload at any of the existing UK-approved ship recycling facilities?
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions to today’s very short debate. These regulations are fairly simple, but a number of good questions have been raised that I would like to go into in a little more detail, if I can.
On the practical implications in Northern Ireland, which were mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, although the right reverend Prelate claimed not to be an expert, it is quite useful to understand what will change in Northern Ireland, because, basically, nothing will change. The permitting regime will stay the same after the implementation period as it is now, and the competent authorities will stay the same. Each devolved Administration will continue to use their own competent authorities to approve and permit their facilities—that will happen in each region of the country.
The main difference worth emphasising is that facilities in Northern Ireland will get some benefit from this because, as noble Lords have pointed out, they will join the Part A of the European list until their permit expires. When their permit expires, it will probably be quicker and easier for them to reapply if they decide to remain on the list. Facilities in the rest of the UK will be treated as non-EU/EEA facilities and will be removed from the list. However, it is true that the three facilities that will be removed from the list can reapply to join, and they would do so under Part B. We know that that process is under way. Over time, we would expect the two lists to remain fairly closely aligned, because the standards will start off the same.
We have been in conversation with the three facilities that will need to join Part B, and we have also had reassurance from the European Commission that it will be sympathetic. For example, we have asked it to waive the non-mandatory elements of the application process for these three recycling facilities, which are: Able UK in Middlesbrough; Swansea Drydocks; and Dales Marine Services, near Edinburgh. If the Commission waives the non-mandatory elements, we expect that this will accelerate the process and, once on the European list, all UK facilities would be treated equally. However, I reiterate that this relates to a relatively small proportion of a shipyard’s business.
The right reverend Prelate talked about the coverage of the impact assessment. Of course, he has been in the House long enough to know that the impact assessment covers only the regulations that we are looking at, but he is right that the marine industry as a whole has a significant impact on carbon emissions, which we need to take incredibly seriously. I am sure that the right reverend Prelate has been hanging on the Prime Minister’s every word today as he outlined our 10-point plan, which includes £20 million for marine decarbonisation. That will be a really good springboard to try to look at what will work for marine. We recognise that there is an issue that we need to address. There is a longer-term strategy, Maritime 2050, which looks at the sector going out many decades, but we recognise that, ahead of COP 26, there is a lot that we can do. I know that the maritime sector is keen to play its part in decarbonisation, and I am very interested in looking at the various technologies that might be forthcoming that will help to decarbonise the sector as a whole.
However, on the basis of what I have said, I hope that noble Lords will feel able to agree to these regulations.
The Grand Committee stands adjourned until 3.45 pm. I remind Members to sanitise their desks and chairs before leaving the Room.
Arrangement of Business
My Lords, the hybrid Grand Committee will now resume. Some Members are here in person, respecting social distancing, others are participating remotely, but all Members will be treated equally. I must ask Members in the Room to wear a face covering, except when seated at their desk, to speak sitting down and to wipe down their desk, chair and any other touch points before and after use. If the capacity of the Committee Room is exceeded or other safety requirements are breached, I will immediately adjourn the Committee. If there is a Division in the House, which seems quite likely, the Committee will adjourn for five minutes.
Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Order 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
My Lords, the order was laid before Parliament in October and is required to enable a number of changes arising as a result of the end of free movement. First, it allows nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland—who I will collectively call EEA citizens—aged 12 or above, using a biometric national passport rather than an EEA ID card and seeking to enter the United Kingdom as a visitor under the Immigration Rules, to be granted such leave by passing through an e-gate, without routinely having to be interviewed by a Border Force officer.
The order also allows EEA citizens, as well as other nationalities already eligible to use e-gates, arriving in the UK under the new S2 healthcare visitor route to also be able to obtain six months’ leave to enter as an S2 healthcare visitor, either granted orally by a Border Force officer, or automatically by passing through an e-gate, in a similar way to standard visitors. It allows those holding a service provider from Switzerland entry clearance to enter the UK on an unlimited number of occasions during its validity, receiving 90 days’ leave to enter upon each entry; and it defines the type of leave obtained by a person passing through an e-gate, thus enabling Border Force officers to examine such persons and to cancel their leave where appropriate.
The first change is needed to give effect to our established policy to maintain access to e-gates for EEA citizens resident in the UK and for visitors. Noble Lords’ agreement to this order will ensure the change can be implemented immediately after free movement comes to an end and ensure the continued efficient processing of all arriving passengers in the UK.
With the end of free movement, EEA citizens who do not have an existing status or eligibility to apply for status under the EU settlement scheme will require leave to enter the UK and will be subject to the requirements of the Immigration Rules in the same way as all other nationalities who are not British or Irish citizens. This amendment does not change that but allows EEA citizens passing through e-gates to be granted six months’ leave to enter as a visitor. As such, they will not be permitted to work or obtain benefits and will be expected to leave the UK, or extend their stay, before their leave expires, in accordance with the rules. Should they breach those rules, they might be liable for enforcement action, including removal from the UK.
To be clear, this new order will allow EEA citizens to be granted leave to enter as visitors for up to six months when they pass through an e-gate at a UK port of entry. EEA citizens coming to the UK for other purposes—such as work or long-term study, and those resident here—will also continue to be able to enter using our e-gates, but no change to the law is required to allow this as they will have already obtained, prior to arrival in the UK, the necessary leave to enter, either in the form of a visa, residence permit or digital status.
Noble Lords might recall that a similar amendment in May 2019 extended e-gate eligibility to visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA—the countries we now refer to as the B5JSSK—and this amendment brings the treatment of EEA citizen visitors, after the end of free movement, in line with the treatment of this group of foreign nationals.
Retaining the ability of EEA visitors to use e-gates to cross the border will be beneficial for passengers and the UK and will be important to maintain efficient flows of passengers through the border. Although the Covid-19 pandemic is still likely to mean that passenger flows are temporarily reduced in comparison with previous years, the use of e-gates will remain the best mechanism for ensuring the secure, efficient processing of EEA citizens across the UK border following the end of the transition period. It will also signal that the UK remains open for business to EEA tourists and business visitors alike.
The continued use of e-gates also needs to be seen in the context of the development of our new global border and immigration system, which makes better use of data, biometrics, analytics and automation to improve both security and fluidity across the UK border. Part of our long-term vision has always been to utilise digital technology to improve the passenger experience while maintaining security at the border. The use of e-gates is an important component of that as they provide a safe, secure and efficient means of processing arriving passengers, allowing our highly trained Border Force officers to focus their efforts on those who seek to abuse or exploit the system and wider border threats. I would also like to be clear that although this amendment enables us to allow EEA visitors to use e-gates to cross the border, it does not oblige us to do so; and as part of ensuring the UK border is operating in the interests of the UK, we will be keeping the policy under regular review.
The order also allows for permission to be granted to those who enter through an e-gate and qualify as an S2 healthcare visitor—to ensure that they obtain the correct type of leave on entry—and provides for service providers from Switzerland to use multi-entry visas. These groups’ rights to enter the UK are protected by the withdrawal agreement, the EEA EFTA separation agreement and, in particular for service providers from Switzerland, the Swiss citizens’ rights agreement.
Finally, the order also provides for leave obtained by a person passing through an e-gate to be treated as though it had been granted before arrival. The effect of this amendment will be to enable Border Force officers to examine persons who have obtained leave to enter by passing through an e-gate to decide whether that leave should be cancelled. This will complement existing powers already available to Border Force officers to curtail or cancel leave to enter. An example of where this might be used would be where further information, such as evidence of the commission of a customs offence, comes to light after they have passed through the e-gate and obtained their leave to enter. I commend the order to the Committee.
My Lords, this instrument was prepared by the Home Office. It will ensure that the UK can continue to utilise electronic passport gates, which are described as
“a secure and efficient mechanism for travellers to cross the border, to process the arrival of citizens of current EU and EEA member states and Switzerland entering the UK as visitors after the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020”.
Heathrow is a particularly busy airport, with flights arriving and leaving all the time—for almost 20 hours a day. E-gates have been a big blessing for the airport authorities there. Similar problems exist in other airports in the UK, such as Gatwick.
It is also said that:
“This SI is important to maintain security and fluidity across the UK border.”
Whereas all the above makes sense and is good, we have to worry about terrorists entering the UK. With the recent events in France, security for the UK must be enhanced. There are also many migrants crossing the channel in small boats; many of them are unable to cross due to the waves, which can cause their deaths. The security of our borders is very important and I welcome this SI.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for introducing this draft order. Its main purpose is, to quote from the Explanatory Memorandum that accompanies it, to
“ensure that the UK can continue to utilise electronic passport gates (e-Gates), a secure and efficient mechanism for travellers to cross the border, to process the arrival of citizens of current EU and EEA member states and Switzerland entering the UK as visitors after the end of the transition period”.
I want to draw the Committee’s attention to the hypocrisy of a Government who campaigned to leave the European Union on the back of the slogan “Taking Back Control”—a phrase that they continue to use to this day, particularly in relation to our borders. The only way this order can be described as taking back control of our borders is that the decision to keep them open with the same level of control, or lack of it, as when we were members of the EU is going to be taken by the UK Government, rather than that decision being a consequence of being a member of the European Union.
What is more, in a vain attempt to avoid being accused of hypocrisy in the face of their promise not to treat EU citizens more favourably than those from outside the EU, the Government have weakened the UK border in relation to citizens of the B5JSSK countries—Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA—by allowing citizens from those countries to use e-gates. Not only are the Government not taking back control of their borders; they admit in their own documentation that e-gates are not secure, or at least do not deliver an acceptable level of security. Let me explain. The Explanatory Memorandum goes on to say that, with the end of free movement, EEA citizens will require leave to enter and remain in the UK
“but those coming as visitors will be able, like other non-visa nationals, to obtain leave to enter at the border for six months”
and that this instrument will
“allow EEA citizen visitors to obtain leave by going through an e-Gate. This leave will be granted for six months in the same way as it is granted to … B5JSSK nationals … who have been able to obtain leave”
by entering through the e-gate since 2019. I think the Minister explained that this happened in May 2019.
Cynics will accuse the Government of extending e-gate access to B5JSSK nationals, which was done only last year, only to avoid being accused of treating EU citizens more favourably after Brexit. The Government have previously said that the decision was made to “better manage the queues” at the UK border, but the point of the border is to keep undesirable people out of the UK—not to make it easier for everyone, including undesirable people, to pass through it. Until the changes were made, B5JSSK nationals had to hand a boarding card to a Border Force officer at the UK border, explain the purpose of their visit and how long they were staying, and prove that they had somewhere to stay and sufficient funds to sustain them during their time in the UK. I am told—the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—that approximately 3,000 USA nationals were turned away at the border annually when these checks were in place. Now there are no checks.
In the chapter entitled “The border of the future” in the Government’s published plans for a points-based immigration system, they outline an idea for “Electronic Travel Authorisations” to be introduced at some unspecified time in the future. The Government claim that these
“will allow security checks to be conducted and more informed decisions taken on information obtained at an earlier stage, as to whether individuals should be allowed to travel to the UK.”
Presumably, these checks and “more informed decisions” will be similar to the checks and informed decisions that Border Force officers used to undertake at the UK border, resulting in 3,000 American citizens a year not being allowed to enter the UK, and before the B5JSSK citizens were allowed to use e-gates. But what happens to UK border security in the meantime? Are the Government now saying that we will take back control of our border eventually?
Continued access to EU databases is also in doubt, particularly the electronic system that allows UK authorities to check whether an EU citizen has been convicted of a criminal offence in any EU country. Not only will allowing EU citizens to use e-gates not be taking back control of our borders; we are less likely to be able to identify criminals entering the UK.
The Government have published advice for UK citizens seeking to visit the EU next year. It states that UK citizens must have at least six months left on their passport, show an onward or return ticket, have enough money for their stay, use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, and be limited to visits of 90 days in any 180 days. Meanwhile, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals visiting the UK will continue to use the e-gates and be able to stay for six months, take a day trip to Lille on the Eurostar and come back for another six months—not that there will be any way in which to check whether they have overstayed their six-month leave to remain.
Only the EU is taking back control of its borders. This Government are significantly, albeit voluntarily, giving up control of the UK border, thereby making it easier for criminals and those who want to stay in the UK illegally to enter and remain. To use an often-used government phrase, that is not what the British people voted for. I may table a Motion of Regret when this order comes before the House for approval.
I, too, thank the Minister for her explanation of the content and purpose of this draft order. As we know, with the end of free movement, EEA citizens will require leave to enter or remain in the UK. The order provides for EU and EEA citizens without existing status to continue to use e-passport gates after the end of this year, and thus obtain leave to enter for six months when they are visiting the UK, as opposed to those coming to the UK to work or live, or for periods of more than six months, who will require permission to enter in advance of travel. The order also allows some other groups to use the gates in relation, for example, to pre-arranged healthcare.
We are introducing this arrangement for EU and EEA citizens but, as the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, was, in effect, saying, we have apparently not yet been able to negotiate a reciprocal arrangement for UK citizens travelling to Europe. Will the Government confirm that that remains the case and, if it does, can we have an update on that point when the Government respond?
Citizens of countries currently permitted to use e-passport gates are those from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. To those will now be added EU and EEA countries. Do the Government keep that list under review? What are the criteria for being on the list, and for being taken off it? Are there plans to add any more countries to the list?
We are aware that the organisation the3million has written to the Immigration Minister, expressing concern that people entering the UK after the end of this year who are protected by grace period regulations will be granted leave via the e-gates. That will inadvertently impact on their ability to exercise rights, including the right to work, given that the automatic grant of leave to remain via e-gates for EU citizens is done on the basis of no recourse to public funds and no permission to work or rent. What steps have the Government taken, or will they take, to prevent that situation arising?
The Explanatory Memorandum in paragraph 7.3, to which the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, referred, states:
“The change will benefit the operation of the UK border as a whole by ensuring that the large number of EEA citizen visitors are able to cross the border in the most secure and efficient manner possible.”
However, as the noble Lord was asking, how reliable are the e-passport gates proving to be in detecting people who should not be allowed into this country? How will it be known when visitors entering via the e-passport gates do not have a right to work or rent in the UK?
Many issues and changes face our border security from the beginning of next year. Potentially serious is the likely loss of access to the Schengen Information System database. In an evidence session with the Home Affairs Select Committee last week, the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration had few, if any, answers to questions on the number of checks we make from the information system database, the proportion of people we check or which system will be there to replace it in January if our access to it ceases. Will the Government now say if the loss of access to that security database will impact on the information we have on people using e-passport gates to enter the UK, and what instantaneous checks will be available on a person arriving at our border.
Finally, I refer to paragraph 10.1 in the Explanatory Memorandum, which is on consultation. It states:
“This instrument was not subject to a consultation exercise because the Government judges that significant numbers of passengers will benefit, with only very limited impact on the experience of others.”
What is that limited impact and which passengers will experience it?
I thank both noble Lords for their points. Indeed, I welcome the positive comments about this statutory instrument made by the noble Lord, Lord Bhatia. The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, asked a number of questions about security and the impact of the ending of free movement and other things, while the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, made a couple of additional points, which I will attempt to answer.
To answer the first point made by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, when individuals use e-gates, they are not routinely questioned by a Border Force officer. However, I assure the Grand Committee that our e-gates conduct a full range of security checks. The biometric check that they undertake on people’s travel documents means that they are a highly effective method of detecting imposters, people with fake passports, fake facial images, et cetera. The e-gates also allow our allow highly trained Border Force officers to focus their efforts on high-risk cohorts—[Interruption.] I shall stop there.
My Lords, the Division Bell is ringing so the Committee will adjourn for five minutes.
Sitting suspended for a Division in the House.
Five minutes has now elapsed so I invite the Minister to continue her remarks.
My Lords, e-gates are and will continue to be able to identify pre-existing adverse information about travellers and individual subjects. Such information will be seen by a Border Force officer. If officers require information about any person’s previous immigration history, the Home Office has access to data, including advance passenger information and exit check records, to verify the person’s individual history. Those officers will retain the ability to exercise the full range of powers at the border, so they will be able to continue to refuse entry where appropriate to those whom they deem ineligible for entry.
The noble Lords, Lord Paddick and Lord Rosser, asked about UK citizens travelling to the EU. They will know that this is part of the ongoing negotiations, of course. For our part, we have ensured fairness in the system by setting up the EU settlement scheme so that no one from the EU is in any doubt about their rights.
On SIS II and what will replace it, those negotiations are ongoing. However, I agree with both noble Lords that having our full range of law enforcement capabilities is absolutely essential as we go through the transition period. If I may, I will get back to the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, on the impact assessment of the small number of people who will be negatively impacted by e-gates; of course, it is a small number because most people will see a positive impact from them.
The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, asked how this is different from free movement. EEA citizens and their family members will be subject to UK immigration control from 11 pm on 31 December this year on the same basis as non-EEA citizens except where they form part of the citizens’ rights cohort.
In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Rosser, the new border and immigration system will see EEA citizen visitors become subject to the same Immigration Rules, criminality thresholds and travel document requirements as other third-country nationals. However, in contrast to the situation under free movement, EEA citizen visitors passing through e-gates after 31 December who do not have another form of UK status or eligibility to apply to the EU settlement scheme will be granted six months’ leave to enter but will not be permitted to work or access benefits and services. They will also be expected to leave the UK or extend their stay before their leave to enter expires. Any EEA citizens arriving for work or long-term study will need to apply under our new system and obtain prior permission, just like all other non-visa nationals. Without such a permission, they will not be able to demonstrate their entitlement to remain in the UK for anything other than a visit.
The noble Lord, Lord Paddick, was concerned about repeat visits. He talked about refreshing leave to enter every six months by leaving for a short period—a point that he has talked about at length—but it is not possible to do so and obtain the same rights and entitlements as residents. Anyone seeking to abuse the system in this way would find themselves prohibited from working and obtaining benefits. If their intentions were to become known to the Home Office, they could be refused when seeking entry at the border. Further, if they seek to stay longer than six months or breach the conditions of their stay as a visitor, they may also be liable to enforcement action, including removal from the UK. That also answers the point made by the noble Lord about being able to rent.
Returning briefly to the EU treatment of UK citizens, it is not based on the EU providing reciprocal access to its e-gates for British citizens. The UK has always sought to manage its border in the country’s best interest. That is why we did not join the Schengen zone and why, on leaving the EU, we are determined to enhance our ability to manage our border in a way that continues to protect the public and facilitates the passage of legitimate travellers.
The Grand Committee stands adjourned until 5 pm. I remind Members to sanitise their desks and chairs before leaving the Room.
Arrangement of Business
My Lords, the hybrid Grand Committee will now resume. Some Members are here in person, respecting social distancing, others are participating remotely, but all Members will be treated equally. I must ask Members in the Room to wear a face covering, except when seated at their desk, to speak sitting down and to wipe down their desk, chair and any other touch points before and after use. If the capacity of the Committee Room is exceeded or other safety requirements are breached, I will immediately adjourn the Committee. If there is a Division in the House, the Committee will adjourn for five minutes. The time limit for debate on the following statutory instrument is one hour.
Agriculture (Payments) (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
My Lords, I declare my farming interests as set out in the register.
These instruments are closely related as they apply to regulations relating to the common agricultural policy, or CAP. I emphasise that these instruments are minor and technical in nature. They do not make new policy or change existing policy. Instead, they will make existing policy and legislation operable at the end of the transition period.
The Agriculture (Payments) (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 update exit SIs made in 2019, minimising ambiguity about legacy CAP schemes by removing the direct payments provisions from previous exit SIs and clarifying that those SIs relate only to the common organisation of agricultural markets—CMO—and rural development. Amendments to direct payments provisions had already been made on exit day under the Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Act 2020. There are also Northern Ireland protocol-related technical amendments, such as changing “United Kingdom” to “Great Britain”.
The regulations allow the UK to comply with Article 138 of the withdrawal agreement, which provides that EU law will continue to apply after 31 December to ongoing rural development programmes and CMO operational programmes implemented by producer organisations until those programmes end.
The regulations amend provisions concerning public intervention and private storage aid schemes, which offer financial support when market prices for agricultural products fall below thresholds laid down in legislation. Currently, the schemes allow the European Commission to buy commodities then publish its decisions using implementing Acts. This instrument allows Defra and the devolved Administrations to make these decisions, which will then be published on GOV.UK.
The instrument makes amendments to retained EU law relating to devolved aspects of producer organisations in the Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme to ensure that the scheme continues to operate in the UK post the transition period. This scheme provides funding to producers to encourage collaboration, increase competitiveness and improve the quality and quantity of produce grown.
The instrument makes other amendments to retained EU law to ensure that Defra and the devolved Administrations can continue to obtain certain production and price data from those in the supply chain, as they do currently. This information is used for market monitoring purposes.
Finally, this instrument also tidies up aspects of other retained EU law; for example, it changes “Exit Day” to “IP completion day” or reflects updates to EU law.
I turn to the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Producer Organisations and Wine) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. This instrument amends provisions of retained EU CMO legislation in the reserved areas of regulating anti-competitive practices and agreements; international relations; import/export controls; and the regulation of intellectual property. It ensures that, post transition period, these functions can be carried out by the Secretary of State. It also amends retained EU law concerning reserved provisions of producer organisations in the fruit and vegetables sector and ensures that functions relating to the recognition of producer organisations in this sector can continue to be exercised by the Secretary of State. It will also omit references to transnational POs within retained EU law, as they are no longer relevant in a domestic context, and updates a reference in relation to contractual negotiations in the milk sector.
On wine, the instrument ensures that protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector operate effectively and that Great Britain is able to process domestic and third-country applications for such matters. It will also ensure that the UK is compliant with the rules of the WTO. It will give the Secretary of State the power to approve or revoke protected wine names and terms on the domestic GI register and approve or deny applications already made to the EU. It will also enable the Secretary of State to make administrative decisions involved in processing applications for protected wine names or terms, amending those protections and the use of those terms on the label of the product. It also revokes EU-implementing Acts that duplicate information in the protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications register.
I turn to the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2020. The majority of the amendments made by these instruments relate to the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol and references to Northern Ireland as it will remain aligned to the EU under the protocol. Amendments are also being made to a small number of the transitional provisions, either to align with the Government’s border operating model, which introduces new border controls for the movement of goods between Great Britain and the EU in three stages until July 2021, or because they were introduced on the basis that the UK would leave without a deal and are no longer required.
The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee drew the attention of the House to the department’s explanation for why poultry meat imports from the EU would not require an optional indications certificate for a period of 12 months. Optional indications refer to the use of labelling terms concerning farming or chilling methods. I would like to apologise as the department’s explanation did not provide sufficient context on checks relating to poultry meat marketing standards and this may have caused concern, but it has since been clarified with the committee and the department has asked for a correction to be issued.
I reassure your Lordships that, although the specific matters are not covered by these regulations, the Government remain committed to high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards.
These statutory instruments, which are predominantly technical in nature, provide clarity in the context of continuity. For those reasons, I beg to move.
My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Loomba and Lord Dodds of Duncairn, and the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering, have withdrawn from the debate. I call the next speaker, the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for his introduction to this group of statutory instruments and for his time in the briefing. The first instrument, as he said, relates to agricultural payments and is very much a tidying-up process. As the Explanatory Memorandum states, it was first debated in the Commons and should have been debated within 28 days in the Lords but, due to Prorogation and the general election, this was not possible, hence we are debating it today so that payments and other matters can move forwards smoothly after implementation day.
The regulations relating to the Northern Ireland protocol provide protection at the end of the transition period, and there is also continuity of certain rural development and CMO schemes after the transition period. How long are those rural development schemes likely to run into the future and how soon will they be assimilated into the environmental land management schemes, if at all?
The second SI deals with agricultural products and wine. Protected designation of origin, or PDO, and protected geographical indication, or PGI, are extremely important for producer and consumer confidence. It will be essential for the Secretary of State to use his powers to alter these with extreme caution. In particular, the geographical indications, or GIs, in relation to wine will need to comply with WTO obligations, as the Minister has already said.
While it might be tempting to rebrand fortified wine as amontillado or sparkling wine as champagne, I think the consumer would soon notice the difference. This would be a retrograde step, as our excellent English wines are able to compete under their own labels. Can the Minister confirm that marketing of our own-produced wines will be the main thrust of the Government in this regard?
The SI makes specific reference to imports of wine and quality policy. What are the arrangements likely to be for geographic indicators on exports? Are these covered in this SI, or will there be an additional SI for that purpose? GIs are of great importance to our wine and spirit producers as well as to those making products using milk.
The third and fourth SIs are again needed to ensure that the Northern Ireland protocol can be implemented. Would it be premature to ask the Minister just how many SIs that relate to ensuring the Northern Ireland protocol is safeguarded we will debate before the end of December? It would be useful to know.
In relation to the fruit and vegetable producer organisation aid scheme, the Explanatory Memorandum states that groups of growers will still be able to come together with the aim of planning production, concentrating supply and making them stronger in the marketplace. The Minister may have answered this, but I shall ask him again anyway: is the transnational producer organisation likely to interfere with this process?
Provisions for the import of hops and hop products are to be amended to align with the border delivery model. What proportion of hops used in the brewing industry in the UK is imported from third countries and what proportion is grown in the UK? Originally, EU forms and certificates from third countries were to be accepted for two years. However, this period has now been shortened to 1 July 2021. How will that affect the UK brewing industry?
On chicks and hatching eggs, can the Minister say which third countries are importing these products into the UK? I also have concerns about the use of optional indication certificates for poultry meat imports, as Defra has stated that we do not currently enforce poultry meat marketing standards. I understand that this relates to labelling as to the method of rearing, such as “free range”. However, many third countries do not have the same stringent animal welfare standards as the UK. I feel certain that consumers will want to be aware of these imports.
Lastly, I refer to paragraphs 2.6 and 2.12 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the miscellaneous amendments regulations, which refer to imports of beef and veal from third countries. It may be that the third countries referred to are the same as those which import chicks and hatching eggs but, again, I ask the Minister which they are.
As the Minister said, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has drawn these matters to the attention of the House as it believes they are of considerable interest to the public at this time, especially as the poultry meat marketing standards are currently not being enforced and as a 12-month transitional period is needed to enable the future import regime and associated checks to become operational. I agree with the committee’s view.
I am happy to support the four statutory instruments but look forward to answers to the questions that I have posed to the Minister.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for his introduction and the helpful briefing that he organised beforehand. When we agreed to take all these SIs in one go, I do not think I realised just what a complicated task we were setting ourselves, because there is an enormous amount of detail in them and they all seem to be connected and to overlap. I therefore have a number of questions, but I fear that I may be referred to other SIs to find the answer.
As my colleague Daniel Zeichner pointed out in the Commons, the Explanatory Memorandum says that Defra does not intend to consolidate the relevant legislation at this time. All I would say is: “Good luck” to the person who eventually takes that task on because of the complications that we can all see before us.
We also face once more our old enemy the correction of previous drafting errors. This is an ongoing saga. Can I suggest to the Minister in all good faith that we need some kind of standing procedure to deal with all the errors that are coming to light and may well come to light in the coming months, rather than having to revisit SIs one by one as we are at the moment?
Turning to the individual SIs, I have a few questions. The first SI makes provision for public intervention, private storage and aid to continue at times of market failure. The proposal is that this should be done administratively, rather than by political decisions. The Minister has clarified that this administrative decision will be published on the Government website. However, given our recent experience of market failure in the collapse of dairy prices, which was a hugely political event, can the Minister explain whether that would be the sort of thing that would be decided as an administrative decision and whether there would be any parliamentary oversight of decisions such as that? Would Parliament have any say on that at all?
This SI also changes the provisions for fruit and vegetable producer organisations. The Minister clarified in the other place that there were 34 in total and four are believed to be transnational. Am I right in understanding that those transnational producer organisations will not be able to apply for support, even if the majority of their production takes place in the UK? Have those affected producer organisations been informed of this change, and are they content with it?
The second SI proposes changes to EU retained law to enable the Secretary of State to approve or cancel protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications for wine. This SI only deals with wine, so I presume that other protected designations are dealt with in other SIs. The SI says that there is not expected to be any significant impact on business. Given the UK’s growing wine industry, which I think we would all accept has been curtailed by EU regulations in the past, will it give our wine producers more flexibility in the descriptions of the wines that they are able to market? Is it envisaged that we would have the UK equivalent of appellation contrôlée as a UK quality standard in future?
What UK body will replace the Commission in registering PDOs and PGIs? Will it be British only or include Northern Ireland? Will UK products such as wine remain registered in the EU or will they have to be re-registered to access the market at the end of transition?
The third and fourth SIs address issues arising from the transition from EU import certificates of conformity to those aligned with the border delivery model. It seems strange that the dates for ending the transition period for these certificates for beef and veal labelling is different from that of hops, hatching eggs and chicks. I refer to the excellent note from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee on this issue. When it asked Defra about this, it was told that some provisions were made to align with the border delivery model, while other timescales meant that there would be a delay for a two-year transition,
“in order to allow policy teams to deliver the necessary IT system changes and recruit additional HMI inspectors”.
Three obvious questions arise from that. First, are some of the border issues so complicated that they need a two-year IT project to complete? Is there any danger of further delays, as we have known in the past, with the IT system not being up and running by that date? Secondly, are the HMI inspectors referred to specialist border inspectors, or is it envisaged that there will suddenly be a huge extra volume of work when the transnational arrangements end—which is why it is being staged, to enable those extra recruitments to take place? Thirdly, has sufficient thought been given to the extra burden on businesses importing across the border which might import mixed cargos with different deadlines for the forms and certificates?
The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee also drew our attention to the fact that the UK does not currently enforce poultrymeat marketing standards. I am very grateful that the Minister has clarified, after our pre-meeting with officials, that that is not so much the case and that a clarification has been issued. I thank him for that. However, if poultrymeat is imported from a third country, does that mean it could still say that it was free-range or organic, and that would not be checked? Could it claim not to be chlorine-washed when it has been? I understand from our pre-meeting that little or no poultrymeat is currently imported using these optional descriptions. Can the Minister clarify whether that might be expected to change in the future? These seem to be quite common terms so it is surprising that there are no imports using these labels now. Could unregulated poultrymeat be mixed with other products and given a misleading description? Can the Minister explain what is meant by that explanation? The SI also refers to the organic certificators’ group having been consulted. Is it now content with the proposals?
On a slightly different issue, perhaps I may ask a follow-up question on the application of the Northern Ireland protocol. In a recent SI debate, the noble Lord, Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, revealed that 72 border posts were proposed between Northern Ireland and Britain. Is there a list now of where those posts will be based? Are they fully staffed—with trained staff—and ready to be operational at the end of the transition period? Do those trained staff include the specialist inspectors who would have to deal with the checks on the imported fresh food produce that the SIs specifically relate to? I look forward to the Minister’s response.
My Lords, I thank the noble Baronesses for their contributions and important questions on some of these matters. I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, that although the regulations are detailed they are intended, as I have explained, not to change policy but to ensure that there is operability in this area as we move forward.
On the point about consolidation, I am very grateful that I am not a specialist in parliamentary drafting, because this would be a mammoth task. I very much take on board the noble Baroness’s point about errors. We all regret when there is an error. Having worked with officials, I think they would apologise to the noble Baroness and to us all, but the pressure is sometimes very intense and these things happen. I regret any error that is made, but the most important thing is to be open about it and correct it as soon as we can. The opportunity that arises now, given that we must attend to these SIs, is to be very straightforward and say that there were a number of errors which we are attending to with these SIs. We should not say that the SIs have been brought forward only to deal with errors because they have not.
The noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, referred to the length of time of rural development programmes. Some long-term agri-environment and forestry agreements will still be live after the closure of the current Rural Development Programme for England because of the time taken to deliver the environmental benefits from the programme. She also referred more generally to the protected designations of origins and the protected geographical indications after the transition period. These regulations, along with other instruments, will allow Great Britain to administer and enforce the GI schemes and to ensure that the United Kingdom meets its WTO obligations.
On some other points raised about the relationship to our exports, it is important to say that there are GIs for our exports also. Once awarded GI status, a product name is added to the relevant public GI register, thereby providing a basis for protection against any misuse of the name. I reassure the noble Baronesses that this level of protection will apply to all UK GIs. The register will also contain GIs protected through the withdrawal agreement and trade agreements. This domestic protection will enable us to secure reciprocal levels of protection for our wine products on export markets.
Domestic wine production is a growth sector in England and Wales. The noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, referred to domestic wines. These regulations maintain the operability of retained EU law, which is the status quo. Our aim is to ensure that imports of third-country wines continue unaffected while continuing to increase domestic wine production. Existing EU GIs, such as Champagne, will continue to be protected in GB through the withdrawal agreement. We cannot use that name for UK sparkling wines. However, our producers are carving out a strong niche for high-quality sparkling wines and I observe, for example, that two Champagne houses are investing in English vineyards.
The noble Baroness, Lady Jones, asked about the ramifications for transnational groups in the UK. There are four such groups, three in England and one in Northern Ireland. We have kept DAERA fully informed and are working with affected producer organisations to ensure that they are aware of the impact on their business and to help them plan for the future. Transnational POs can still come together, but EU-based members will no longer be able to claim under the aid scheme after the end of the current programme.
The noble Baroness, Lady Jones, raised an important point, which we have discussed, about the definition of administrative decisions and ensuring that what might be described as political decisions are not made under the auspices of administrative decisions. Those decisions have limited scope and do not choose the recipients of the intervention or which sectors to intervene in. They are decisions that, following a tendering process, set rates for buying in commodities under public intervention and for private storage aid, and then allow publication of the rates to be offered. Those decisions are made according to clearly prescribed criteria in the CMO regulations. For example, the tendering procedure is clearly laid down in regulations and the quantities, periods and prices involved are subject to overall limits. The amendments in this instrument would allow the tendering procedure to open and the decision on the maximum price to be published, without requiring legislation to open the procedure and publish the price. It is important to emphasise the narrowness of the scope because I agree with the instincts that the noble Baroness outlined. Changes to these rules and amounts would require legislation and parliamentary oversight. The amendments in the instrument do not introduce new processes or powers, or enable the relevant authorities to do anything new. Instead, they ensure that the relevant authorities will be able to continue operating those clearly prescribed mechanisms, as they do currently, and in a timely fashion, after the transition period.
I turn to some of the remarks relating to the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations and the No.2 regulations of the same name. The noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, asked about beef and veal. My understanding is that in 2019, 6.8% of the beef and veal imported into the UK came from the following non-EU countries: Uruguay, Australia, Namibia, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, United States of America, UAE, Botswana and Paraguay. The remainder of our imports came from the EU. While the regulations cover only technical requirements for age on slaughter labelling, and when the terms “beef” or “veal” should be used, I reassure both noble Baronesses that separate legislation concerning high production and animal health standards will continue to apply to beef and veal imported into Great Britain after the transition period.
As I have said before, in all our trade negotiations we will maintain our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards. These will not change.
The noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, also asked about importing hatching eggs and chicks and the welfare standards of the country of origin. For hatching eggs and day-old chicks, 85% of our imports come from the EU and we remain committed to high standards of animal welfare and food safety in the future, as we do now.
The noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, asked about a percentage in relation to hops. I am afraid the detail I have is that we were a net importer of hops and hop products to the worth of £60 million in 2018, while producing £14.1 million-worth ourselves. When I looked into this, one issue was the fact that hops have distinct flavours. We are therefore keen to ensure that there is a continuing ability for production of beer in this country which uses that variety of hop products, although when I studied those figures I thought that there might be some scope for further domestic production. Having looked into that, it is important to ensure that we have that range of hops for our beer production.
The noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, asked about transitional provisions. Funnily enough, in discussing these matters I am obviously seized of the fact that there is this range of dates. I queried this strongly and what we have done—I think this is right—is to have reviewed this on a sector-by-sector basis, to see where it would be practical and possible to align with the border operating model. In doing so, this has resulted in a varying number of end dates. The noble Baroness made a point about having confusion for businesses being the last thing we would want to do. I reassure her that we have actively engaged with businesses ahead of laying these instruments and have updated the relevant guidance on GOV.UK. In fact, representatives from all the sectors have welcomed the provisions, as they allow for appropriate adjustment.
For instance, with regard to the two-year transitional provision concerning EU certificates for fruit and vegetables, I understand we will be using this time to implement upgraded computer systems, as was alluded to, while bolstering our Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate numbers and working with the EU to implement an improved inspection service procedure for member states. After 31 December, the free movement of goods from the EU will end; inevitably, additional checks on imports and additional inspectors will be required. We are working with the APHA to ensure that we have the right calibre of inspectors. That will clearly be important.
The noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, asked about organics. I understand that the UK organics certifying groups are content with the provisions we have brought forward.
In relation to poultry meat marketing standards, I have drawn attention to the correction we made. I reiterate my apologies for it not being sufficiently in context in an earlier version. Although food safety regulations are not covered under these instruments, I reiterate that the Government remain committed to promoting robust food standards and existing food safety provisions, which will of course be retained in the retained EU law. No products other than potable water have been approved to decontaminate poultry carcasses, and this will remain so.
I am mindful of the time so I will be quick in addressing a number of other points. On the Northern Ireland protocol, I am sure that there will be other statutory instruments where, in part, the protocol and the changes following it will need to be applied to other statutory instruments that I bring forward.
I should say, as an aside, that I inquired whether we should have a Northern Ireland protocol SI so that all these matters could be wrapped in it. There was a suggestion that it was rather better to deal with them according to subject matter rather than in that way. If that might have been a suggestion of the noble Baroness, it was one with which I had sympathy, but it was then suggested that it would be more consistent to deal with the whole area of points of concern.
There are one or two further detailed points to cover. On impact, we have worked strongly with businesses because we are conscious that, because of the changes, we need to work with them. We are doing so—that is very important—so that they are aware of the changes and understand why we have a different range of dates to ensure that there are adjustments that work constructively.
If there are any other points, I might receive some information and will write to the noble Baronesses. At this juncture, and mindful that I have already taken a little too long, I commend the regulations.
Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Producer Organisations and Wine) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
That the Grand Committee do consider the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Producer Organisations and Wine) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.
Relevant document: 31st Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Considered in Grand Committee
That the Grand Committee do consider the Common Organisation of the Markets in Agricultural Products (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2020.
Relevant document: 33rd Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee
My Lords, that completes the business before the Grand Committee this afternoon. I remind Members to sanitise their desks and chairs before leaving the Room.
Committee adjourned at 5.37 pm.