To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment has been made of the proposed "Henry VIII" clauses in clause 21 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill; and whether the views of the Welsh Government have been sought on the powers within that Bill to amend the Government of Wales Act 2000 by regulation as opposed to primary legislation.
1 November 2019
Clause 21 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill would allow the UK Government to meet fully the obligations set out in the Northern Ireland Protocol. The “Henry VIII” power in the clause could be used where necessary to amend primary legislation to ensure arrangements required in the Northern Ireland Protocol are operational and to implement the requirements set out in the Protocol.
In response to concerns raised by the Devolved Administrations, clause 18 of the Bill (Main power in connection with other separation issues) has been restricted so that powers under this clause cannot be used to amend the devolution acts, including the Government of Wales Act 2006.
The Government is working to establish whether restricting the powers in clause 21 in a similar way would mean the obligations in the Protocol could still be met. Subject to the outcome of this work, the Government would be open to imposing the restriction by amending the Bill during its passage.