Common Frameworks


About the Inquiry

In its Interim Report on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the Committee noted the importance of what have come to be termed ‘common frameworks.’ This is a reference to the regulatory convergence and harmonisation provided for by EU law, including in areas where EU competence corresponds with devolved competence.

The delegated powers supplementary memorandum published alongside the Clause 11 amendments to the Bill explains that the powers conferred by Clause 11 are required to allow the creation of common UK frameworks where these are required following Brexit. The proposed Intergovernmental Agreement states “that this is likely, in whole or in part, in 24 areas” where “common frameworks with a legislative underpinning may be required.”

The UK Government has published a framework analysis setting out areas of EU law that intersect with devolved competence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This states that there are:

• 49 policy areas where no further action is required;
• 82 policy areas where non-legislative common frameworks may be required; and
• 24 areas where legislative frameworks might be needed.

111 of these areas fall within the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament. In addition the framework analysis includes 12 further policy areas that the UK Government believes are reserved but are subject to ongoing discussions with the devolved administrations. There is no legislative provision within the Bill stipulating which areas within the framework analysis will be covered by Clause 11 regulations.


Common UK Frameworks - Call for Evidence

The Committee recognised in its interim report on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that “significant further work is required in relation to the scrutiny of developing and agreeing common frameworks” and “that this is a critically important area of work and will consider it further.”   The Committee identified a number of areas which require further detailed examination –

• What should replace the current EU policy-making processes across the UK;
• Addressing the governance gap in relation to the monitoring, implementation and enforcement of frameworks;
• The interaction between frameworks and the negotiation of new international agreements including free trade deals;
• Funding of obligations and commitments arising from frameworks.

The Committee would welcome written submissions dealing with the issues outlined above and any other relevant views in relation to the development and agreement of common UK frameworks. 

How to submit your evidence

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

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The closing date for submissions was Friday 31 August 2018. Ten responses were received from the following:

COSLA (121KB pdf)

Centre for Consitutional Change (95KB pdf)

Scottish Centre for European Relations (78KB pdf)

NFU Scotland (196KB pdf)

Brexit and Environment academics (90KB pdf)

Royal Society of Edinburgh (101KB pdf)

RSPB Scotland (173KB pdf)

Scottish Environment LINK (125KB pdf)

Wright and Heald (99KB pdf)

Law Society of Scotland (447KB pdf)

What happens next?
The Committee will consider all written evidence received before deciding upon those witnesses from whom it wishes to hear oral evidence in due course.


Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the clerking team of the Committee via email or by telephone on 0131 348 5215.



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