The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (“the 2018 Act”) will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (the ECA) on the day the UK leaves the European Union (EU). The 2018 Act also converts EU law as it stands at the moment of exit, into UK domestic law and preserves UK laws made under the ECA to implement EU obligations.
Powers in the 2018 Act enable amendments to be made to EU Law to ensure that such legislation can work properly in the context of the UK no longer being a member of the EU. The 2018 Act also allows for amendments to be made to domestic legislation which implements and enforces EU obligations here (either directly in Northern Ireland, or across the UK) to ensure it is operable after EU Exit. The 2018 Act limits the changes that can be made to legislation to those that ensure operability of the legislation post EU Exit.
The draft Agriculture, Food and Horse (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 amend eleven pieces of Northern Ireland domestic legislation that implements or enforces EU rules and have been drafted on the basis of a no-deal EU-Exit scenario. This is to ensure that we are ready for all eventualities and is not an indication of whether the UK will exit the EU under a deal or no-deal scenario. The draft Regulations simply introduce minor drafting amendments. They do not seek to introduce new policy, but rather to ensure that the legislation continues to operate in the same way on exit day as it does now.
Copies of the consultation document can also be made available, on request, in alternative formats e.g. in large print, Braille disc, audio cassette and other languages. Please contact Darren Beggs on 02890 525031 or, for those with hearing difficulties, leave a message on the Department’s text phone (18001 028 9052 5031).
Key stakeholders were informed directly about the consultation which closed on 10 December 2018. There were no responses to the consultation and the Regulations will now be finalised for laying at Westminster. When the legislation has been laid, a link will be added here.