In August and September 2020, the Government made several changes to the planning system in England. It introduced secondary legislation creating new permitted development rights and making changes to use classes. Five of these statutory instruments are being debated in the House of Lords on 27 October 2020. This article provides a summary of these instruments and the scrutiny they have received so far in Parliament.

The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill seeks to ensure unfettered access to the UK internal market for “qualifying Northern Ireland goods”. On 7 October 2020, the Government published the draft Definition of Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. They contain the definition of “qualifying Northern Ireland goods” that will apply to the bill. This article explains the background to the regulations, and why the Government also intends to introduce further legislation in this area.

  • In Focus

    In September 2020, the Government placed new restrictions on businesses selling food and drink, requiring many to close between 10pm and 5am. It also introduced further limits on the exemptions to its “rule of six” for social gatherings. This article looks at the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020, which implemented these new measures.

  • In Focus

    These regulations extend the Pension Protection Fund’s rights as a creditor when co-operative and community benefit societies have a moratorium in place to protect them from creditor action. This would give the fund a greater say during restructuring discussions when societies are in financial difficulty. The Pension Protection Fund provides compensation for members of defined benefit pension schemes where their employer becomes insolvent. The regulations also revoke and replace previous regulations due to a drafting error.

  • In Focus

    Since 2009 the UK bank base rate has been below 1%, and it was cut to 0.1% in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the economy remaining weak, commentators have debated whether there should be further cuts, taking the interest rate negative for the first time. This article summarises the policy debate.

  • In Focus

    On 9 October 2020, the House of Lords will debate the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Insolvency and Dissolution) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020. These regulations provide for new arrangements on moratoriums for charitable organisations to facilitate their rescue from financial difficulty.

  • In Focus

    In August 2020, Northampton saw an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. A large number of these transmissions were traced back to the Greencore factory in Northampton. On 21 August 2020, workers and their households were told to self-isolate for 14 days to limit the risk of further spread of the disease in the community, and to avoid a local lockdown. This article looks at the regulations introduced to enforce the restrictions.

  • Research Briefing

    The Fire Safety Bill is a government bill, and forms part of the Government’s response to the Grenfell fire. It seeks to clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order 2005, specifically to ensure that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows; and for entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts.

  • In Focus

    The Government has laid several statutory instruments requiring people to wear face coverings, with the aim of reducing the spread of Covid-19. These regulations include a list of “relevant places” where people must wear face coverings. The regulations have been updated with subsequent regulations that add places to the list and remove exemptions. The financial penalties for non-compliance have also been updated. This article looks at the requirements imposed by the various instruments.

  • In Focus

    On 23 July 2020 the Government laid regulations requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and some other indoor venues. The House of Lords is due to debate these regulations in September 2020. This article provides an overview of the regulations and the background to their introduction.

  • In Focus

    Aviation has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the coronavirus pandemic. This article looks at Government support for airlines and also at criticisms of policies such as the quarantine. It then considers debates about airlines’ reactions in areas such as employment and customer refunds. The impact of the pandemic on airlines is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 29 June 2020.