4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2018
    1. My Lords, is the Minister familiar with Einstein’s theory of relativity? The reason I ask is because if you do the sums, I reckon that there is just over 12 months to go between now and the proposed date of exit from the European Union. We are talking about a three-month consultation period—starting heaven knows when, because we still do not know when the document for the consultation will be launched—then we have perhaps another nine months to pass an environment Bill through Parliament, if it is to be a statutory body, and then perhaps another six months to set up the organisation, fund it and appoint ​the staff. That sounds like a minimum of 18 months to go into 12. But of course, as Einstein pointed out, if you can travel at a speed faster than 186,000 miles per second, you can stretch time, so I hope that the Minister is proposing to invoke Einstein’s theory of relativity in ensuring that the body will be in place by the proposed date of exit.

      lol

    2. can the Minister assure the Committee that the new green watchdog will be in place on a statutory basis by exit day?
    3. There is no point in having high aspirations unless you have an effective mechanism to ensure that you deliver. As a member of the European Union, we have been subject to scrutiny and enforcement by the Commission, ultimately through infraction notices. As I pointed out at Second Reading, 46% of the judgments handed down by the European Court of Justice on UK infringements since 2003 related to the environment.The Government have accepted that after Brexit there will be a governance gap and that therefore a new green watchdog will be required to hold the Government to account on their environmental performance. The purpose of Amendments 112 and 113 is to ensure that this new green watchdog is in place by exit day and that it will mirror as closely as possible the current arrangements that we have as a member of the EU.
    4. The purpose of this amendment is very simple: it is to ensure that recitals and preambles to EU laws are given a clear legal status by the Bill. Why is that important? The recitals and preambles explain the background to, and objectives of, legislation and are therefore essential to understanding the legislation that follows. While in UK law the purpose of any piece of legislation will be clear as a result of the process leading up to the legislation—for instance, a Green Paper, a White Paper and a parliamentary debate—with EU-derived law there is no equivalent process. Therefore, the recitals and preambles are essential for placing the legislation in context. If they are not given a clear legal status they may be forgotten or ignored by decision-makers and the courts. As has already been mentioned, although the great repeal Bill White Paper, in footnotes 17 and 24, recognised the importance of recitals and preambles, this does not provide the legal certainty that is needed.

      description of amendment