The campaign organisation Church Action for Tax Justice published two reports entitled Tax for the Common Good and Fair Tax Now, containing proposals on creating a fairer tax system. The House of Lords will debate these reports on 21 January 2021. This article summarises the reports' recommendations, the Government’s current tax policies and the impact of Covid-19 on fiscal policy.

On 24 December 2020, the UK and the EU reached agreement on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) setting out their future relationship. The UK Parliament passed the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 in one day on 30 December 2020. The TCA has been provisionally applied by both parties from 1 January 2021. The House of Lords is due to debate the TCA on 8 January 2021.

  • In Focus

    At the time of publication, the UK and the EU are continuing to negotiate their future relationship. Should a deal be reached, the Government has indicated Parliament would have to pass legislation to implement it. The requirements of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 would also need to be met before the UK Government could ratify a treaty. This article looks at the role of the House of Lords in this process.

  • In Focus

    These coronavirus regulations reduced the length of the self-isolation period from 14 days down to 10 and added new areas, including London, to the list of places in tier 3. They are part of the Government’s ongoing strategy to control the spread of coronavirus. The regulations need to be approved by both Houses of Parliament or they will cease to be law.

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    The Trade (Disclosure of Information) Bill would allow Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and other public authorities to share data relating to the flow of traffic, goods and services into and out of the UK. The House of Lords is due to consider all stages of this bill on 17 December 2020. The bill essentially replicates some data-sharing provisions from the Trade Bill, currently at report stage in the Lords.

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    The current regulatory framework for coronavirus testing is complex. The Government believes this complexity disincentivises new private providers entering the market and has put forward proposals to replace it with a new system. This article looks at two draft regulations that would remove coronavirus testing from the existing regulatory structure and establish a new regime for private providers of commercial Covid-19 testing services.

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    The Ozone Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 would implement the Northern Ireland protocol specifically in relation to restricting the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases). It would mean that EU law on these issues would apply to Northern Ireland following the transition period. It would also implement controls on the movement of relevant gases, substances and equipment between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

  • In Focus

    On 8 December 2020, the House of Lords will debate government proposals to further amend the rules that will govern the domestic regime for regulating the chemicals industry following the end of the Brexit transition period. Concerns have been raised regarding the administration of this new system and its impact on UK businesses. This article summarises the new draft regulations and the reaction to the Government’s proposals.

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    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered a spending review statement on 25 November 2020. The Government said the review’s priorities were “to support the Government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery and deliver on promises to the British people”. Alongside the spending review, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out its latest forecasts for the economy and for the public finances.