A statutory instrument was laid on 16 September 2021 titled the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 (the “No. 2 Regulations”) and was due to come into force on 15 November 2021. The substantive legislative changes proposed in the No. 2 Regulations would have removed the need for a person to pass the ‘B+E’ car and trailer test before they could pull a heavy trailer behind their car. This would have meant people with licences awarded after 1997 also no longer needed to pass a separate test to tow a heavy trailer.
This statutory instrument was not approved in time for the No. 2 Regulations to come into force on 15 November 2021. Since such affirmative statutory instruments cannot be amended once laid in draft, we have taken action to lay the regulations afresh as the draft Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2021 (the “No. 5 Regulations”).
To make rapid progress on this, we are seeking to make use of the urgency procedure under paragraph 14(6) of Schedule 8 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. I am of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, the requirements for this affirmative statutory instrument (by virtue of paragraph 13(1) of Schedule 8 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) to be made after being published in draft for 28 days, together with a scrutiny statement, should not apply.
Forgoing the 28-day publication period will allow earlier laying of the No. 5 Regulations than would have otherwise been possible and strengthen the steps we have already taken to increase HGV testing capacity and ease supply chain issues as quickly as possible. Arrangements will be in place to ensure that the changes made by the No. 5 Regulations are operationally effective as soon as they come into force.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords