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 –