MIL-OSI UK: Government rebuked for lack of preparation on Brexit and chemicals

Source: British Parliament News

16 January 2019
The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Committee has written to Defra Minister Thérèse Coffey MP highlighting renewed concerns about the Government’s ill-preparedness to take on the regulation of chemicals and maintain chemical trade after Brexit.

The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry, worth £12.7 billion a year, and in 2017 73% of the UK’s chemical imports came from the EU. On 7 November 2018 the Committee published its Brexit: chemical regulation report, which called on the Government to:
urgently explain how its independent regulatory regime would work;
put forward a more credible plan for collecting information on chemicals;
identify which UK agency will take on the role of chemical regulation; and
enable UK chemical businesses, including SMEs, to take steps to maintain their access to the EU market ahead of exit day.
The Minister responded to the Committee’s findings on 4 January. It is the Committee’s view that although the Government has now developed a more credible approach for collecting information and identified the body that will be in charge of chemical regulation, it appears to have failed on a number of counts, by not taking steps that would have allowed UK chemical businesses to maintain their EU market access, not providing assurance that the database needed to replace the EU chemicals database will be ready in time, and not setting out how chemical risk assessments will take place after Brexit. The Committee is also concerned about the impact on UK manufacturing and businesses of the potential loss of access to thousands of chemicals as a result of Brexit.Lord Teverson, Chair of the Sub-Committee, said:

“Last year we were hugely concerned about the scale of work that needed to be done to maintain adequate chemical regulation in light of Brexit, and frankly the Minister’s response to our report has done little to alleviate our concerns. It seems Brexit could leave us without a functioning and populated UK chemicals database, without an independent and transparent process for risk assessments, and without access to the thousands of chemicals produced by EU-led companies. I hope the Minister can provide further assurances on the measures that are being put in place, otherwise we risk a severe impact on the UK chemical and manufacturing industries, and potentially on human and environmental health.”

The Committee has written to the Minister seeking further details on the Government’s preparations, and has requested a response by the end of January.
Further information
Image: Parliamentary copyright

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MIL-OSI UK: Lords examines Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill

Source: British Parliament News

07 January 2019
The Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill will have its committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, in the Lords on Tuesday 8 January.

Members are expected to discuss a range of subjects, including:
limiting the new regulations to ensure there are no changes in government policy other than to reflect the UK’s status as a non-EU member
ensuring the competitiveness of UK financial markets is not affected by EU withdrawal
requiring HM Treasury to begin reporting on the use of its powers by October 2019 and every six months thereafter.
Baroness McDonagh (Labour) has laid a motion against the debate, recommending that committee stage of the bill be postponed until after the scheduled date for the Lords committee stage of the Trade Bill has been published in the House of Lords Business Paper.
Lords second reading: Tuesday 4 December
Members discussed a range of issues raised by the bill, including restrictions within the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on the use of delegated legislation, the accurate number of ‘in flight’ pieces of EU legislation and shortening the bill’s regulatory period following a ‘no deal’ scenario down from the current twelve-month proposal.
Lord Bates (Conservative), minister of state in the Department for International Development, responded on behalf of the government.
Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill summary
This bill will aim to provide the government with powers to implement and make changes to ‘in flight’ files of EU financial services legislation. The powers will last for two years after UK withdrawal from the EU, in the event of a ‘no-deal’ scenario.
‘In flight’ refers to pieces of EU legislation that:
have been adopted by the EU but not yet enacted, and so would not apply under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
are currently in negotiation and may be adopted up to two years following EU withdrawal
Further information
Image: iStockphoto

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MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates reconciliation in British foreign policy

Source: British House Of Lords News

13 December 2018
Members of the Lords, including a member of the Lords International Relations Committee and the Labour spokesperson for international development, will debate the role of reconciliation in British foreign, defence and international development policy, in the House of Lords on Friday 14 December.

This is a general debate. During debates, members are able to put their experience to good use, discussing current issues and drawing the government’s attention to concerns.
The debate was proposed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (Bishops).
Members expected to take part include:
Earl Howe (Conservative), minister of state in the Ministry of Defence, will respond on behalf of the government.
Further information
Image: House of Lords 2018 / Photography by Roger Harris

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