European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (UK)

This is my second post in a few days. I updated my earlier post online. I’m posting again, because this post will be emailed to you (and it contains additional information).

The Act received Royal Assent on 26th June 2018, and today (27th June) the Explanatory Notes are published – here.

In due course, I will compile this Act, together with the other Brexit Acts, as Brexit Acts (not Brexit Bills) and Statutory Instruments, linked on the top right of the index page to the Cardinal Environment ENV Legislation Registers, and also on the top right of the index page of the Cardinal Environment OHS Legislation Registers.

Only when the many Brexit Acts and Statutory Instruments are enacted, and it’s clear how the statute base is being affected, will the laws be input into the Registers.

A couple of things to note :

(1) the 1972 European Communities Act (that gives authority for EU law in the UK) is repealed on exit day – exit day is 29th March 2019 at 11pm – the section providing for this repeal is not commenced on Royal Assent – a further Commencement Order is required (this will be published),

(2) existing domestic legislation (what I call local legislation) which implements EU law obligations is termed ‘EU-derived domestic legislation’, and is also referred to in the Explanatory Notes as ‘preserved legislation’,

[I had a plan to denote EU-derived domestic legislation in the Cardinal Environment EHS Registers, but this will clutter the Registers]

EU-derived domestic legislation will remain on the statute base after the UK leaves the EU. This includes legislation that is passed or made but not yet in force on exit day.

(3) EU legislation in force before exit day that sets out forward dates, is incorporated into domestic law, and those dates stand. This is section 3 of the Act.

Per the Explanatory Notes –

87  Under section 3, direct EU legislation is only converted and incorporated into domestic law “so far as operative immediately before exit day”. Subsection (3) clarifies what this means. The default position in section 3(3)(c) is that direct EU legislation is operative if it is in force immediately before exit day. However, some EU legislation applies in a staggered way over time, and the Act ensures that, so far as a relevant instrument has entered into force and applies before exit day, it will be converted into domestic legislation. It is only if the provision is “stated to apply” from a later time (see section 3(3)(a)), and that time falls on or after exit day, that the provision would not fall within the ambit of the section. So, where there is a stated date of application, and this date falls after exit day, the provision is not converted. This means that, provided it is not expressly stated to apply from a date falling on or after exit day, EU legislation which is in force before exit day will be converted even if it has some effect which crystallises after exit day.

(4) section 8 enables deficiencies to be corrected, I do expect a raft of new statutory instruments, and this is why I am corralling the Brexit Acts and Statutory Instruments into a single link until I understand how the existing statute base in the Registers is affected,

(5) section 16 obliges the DEFRA Secretary to publish draft legislation setting out listed environmental principles,

Per the Explanatory Notes –

171  This section requires that, six months after Royal Assent of this Act, the Secretary of State must publish draft legislation which sets out a list of environmental principles (which are listed in subsection (2)). The draft legislation must place a duty on the Secretary of State to publish a policy statement in relation to the application and interpretation of those principles which, when circumstances to be set out under the legislation apply, ministers of the Crown must have regard to in making and developing policy.

172  The draft legislation must also define environmental law and make provision for the establishment of a public authority with functions for taking proportionate enforcement action (including legal proceedings if necessary) where the authority considers that a minister of the Crown is not complying with that environmental law.

173  The duty on the Secretary of State to publish a draft Bill applies in relation to England, and to reserved matters across the rest of the UK.

UK exits the EU (EU Brexit Preparedness)

You notice I have been posting about EU Notices and my last post is entitled Brexit Preparedness, and this post identifies the EU is also publishing Brexit Preparedness legislative proposals.

The European Commission has now re-organised the EU Notice site online, and retitled it as Brexit Preparedness.

Today they also show the state of play of planned legislative proposals (at 12 June 2018) as a link from the Legislative initiatives tab on the Brexit Preparedness site. That state of play is here. But you can find for yourself on the site where this document is.

Note : the EU Notices are retitled Preparedness Notices, and are identified by European Commission department. This makes them easier to locate, but at moment they are not sortable by date of issue.

Note : the Notices issued by the EU regulators (described as EU decentralised agencies) are found on the original page – this is linked behind the words “Read more on EU Brexit Preparedness Notices”. Here

The reorganised EU Brexit Preparedness online site is here.

Single-use Plastics (Global)

Various initiatives and legal instruments are already in place or announced :

NOTE : I will update this post online (please keep a note, to check online, as you will not receive an email)

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Ireland, UK, France, Canadian cities, US cities, Mexico local bans, Brazil local bans, etc – plastic bags – see August 2017 roundup (Reuters) – here

Kenya plastic bag ban – here

France ban, Scotland (proposal), UK (consultation later in 2018), Costa Rica (proposal) – cotton buds, cutlery, other plastic products

England, Scotland, Wales – microbeads ban (certain products)

EU Strategy on Plastics (separate post) – includes a new proposed Directive on Port Reception Facilities

EU proposals on 10 single-use plastics bans (separate post)

UK consultation (concluded) on tax measures

UNEP (at UNEA-3) non-binding Resolution Marine Litter and Microplastics

China ban on imports of plastic waste for recycling from developed countries (I posted about this)

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (UK)

UPDATE (Wednesday 27 June) : Royal Assent was given yesterday (26th June), the Act is now published. I will add it to the Cardinal EHS Legislation Registers.

The Act is here.

I posted before about this key UK Brexit Bill. The Bill is now ready for Royal Assent.

When it is available in its Act form, I will add it to the Cardinal EHS Legislation Registers as a Link to UK Brexit Bills. I will put this Link to UK Brexit Acts on the top right hand side, linking from both the Environment Registers index page, and the OHS Registers index page. The Link is not yet there.

The purpose of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. It will also make other provisions in connection with the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The European Communities Act 1972 was the principal means by which EU law was given effect in the UK.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will first be an Act (after receipt of Royal Assent), and then commenced by separate enactment(s). It will not apply until it is commenced. Commencement could be in sections. Until the relevant section(s) are commenced, the 1972 Act remains in force.

Transport (Scotland) Bill (Scotland)

A new Transport Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 June 2018.

The Bill is divided into 6 parts.

Part 1 of the Bill introduces the concept of low emission zones, which are set up under low emission zone schemes. A low emission zone scheme is a scheme under which individuals driving vehicles which fail to meet specified emission standards will be prohibited from driving those vehicles in contravention of the terms of the scheme within a designated geographical area. Where a person breaches this rule, a penalty charge will be payable unless the vehicle is exempt. Exemptions will be set out in regulations but are likely to include, for example, emergency service vehicles. The scheme itself may also make provision for the local authority operating the scheme to grant exemptions in certain circumstances.

Low emission zones are already in place in London. Further low emission zones may be introduced in England as a result of the Air Quality Strategy consultation. I have posted before on this (as part of DEFRA initiatives).

There has been talk of the Bill containing provisions that would enable local authorities to charge for workplace car parking. These provisions are not in the Bill.

A workplace car parking levy is in place in Nottingham (the English law permits this). Further information is here.

The Transport (Scotland) Bill is found here.

New Parliament Statutory Instrument Service (UK)

The UK Parliament website has now launched its new long awaited Statutory Instrument (SI) service. The site is at a beta stage (meaning it’s still in testing). Improvements are expected in the next weeks, and it will include the sifting processes under the EU (Withdrawal) Act (not yet enacted) once those are finalised.

Here

As with the Bills section which has already been a long time running, the new Statutory Instrument service will display the SIs in the different decision processes, i.e. before they are enacted. These decision processes are termed “sifting”.

This new service will be particularly helpful, as thousands of new Statutory Instruments can be expected under the Brexit Acts. These will both amend and replace existing law.

I will be monitoring and posting out to keep you advised (by reference to this location). Once the SIs are enacted, they will be compiled on the Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers (initially as a single link on the top right hand side).

Over time, we will consolidate these into the existing Cardinal Environment consolidated laws that we supply.

Please continue to monitor this Blog closely.

UK exits the EU (Brexit Preparedness)

I posted so far a number of times (marked EU Notices) about the guidance issued to stakeholders by the European Commission and the EU regulators. Note : there are now 65 EU Notices issued, and this material is gathered here.

In addition, please note I posted in 2017 about the going forward invalidity of UK issued carbon credits (EUETS scheme).

On 18th April, the FT published an article about approximately 40 new legislative proposals to be issued over the next 10 weeks or so (in addition to the EU Notices). This article is here. At EU level, these legislative proposals are marked “Brexit Preparedness”.

So far :

(1) a wider consultation on WTO schedules (separation of UK from EU) – here.

(2) a proposal on EU type-approval legislation – here.

Yesterday, the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ published an article of a briefing by the Secretary General of the European Commission to the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament (and an associated internal document of the planned Brexit Preparedness legislative proposals).

This article identifies the list of areas for these new proposals – banking, tariffs, energy efficiency, medicines, visa, and transport.

Among the proposals is a plan to design a maritime route to link Ireland and the Continental part of the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor.

The RTE report is here.