Monday, 25 March 2019

Brexit ~ Statutory Instruments

A brief note on Statutory Instruments (SI) being churned out in connection with Brexit.

When the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill first saw light of day it was immediately open to the criticism that it contained a far too extensive set of powers to make delegated legislation - previous posts 6 September 2017 and 29 September 2017.

A particular concern was that Ministers could effectively change policy by using these powers and, according to a post by Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson published by the UK Constitutional Law Association blog, this concern appears to be manifesting itself.  The authors
offer the example of  The Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (‘INA Regulations’), which make significant changes to the immigration system.  Another example concerns the Social Security Coordination Regulations to delete certain equal treatment provisions.

The Hansard Society notes 499 Brexit-related SIs since 26 June 2018. including 350 under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

See also this search of the Legislation database revealing the sheer scale of delegated legislation and some are very lengthy and detailed documents - e.g. The Air Traffic Management (Amendment etc)(EU Exit) Regulations 2019 contains 6 Parts.

The House of Commons Order paper for 25 March 2019 revealed a further 12 Statutory Instruments to be approve.  The brief debate (25 March) dealing with these may be seen in Hansard - HERE.


A number of Parliamentary Committees are in place to scrutinise secondary legislation:

Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments

Commons - Statutory Instruments Committee


A. Sinclair and J. Tomlinson, ‘Brexit, Primary Legislation, and Statutory Instruments: Everything in Its Right Place?’, U.K. Const. L. Blog (25th Mar. 2019) (available at

Lord Judge (then Lord Chief Justice) - The Mansion House, London - Lord Judge's 2010 speech 

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