• In Focus

    Regulation of coronavirus testing

    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.

  • In Focus

    Ozone Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    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

    REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    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.

  • In Focus

    Draft State Aid (Revocations and Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    In 2021, the UK will no longer be subject to EU state aid policy. The UK will follow World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and the Government will consult on whether to go beyond them. The Government has laid draft regulations to disapply state aid provisions from retained EU law. This article looks at the background on state aid, including its relevance to the Northern Ireland Protocol and the future relationship negotiations with the EU.

  • In Focus

    Definition of Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    In the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, the Government is seeking to ensure unfettered access to the UK internal market for “qualifying Northern Ireland goods”. On 30 November 2020, the House of Lords is due to debate 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

    Legislative Reform (Renewal of Radio Licences) Order 2020

    The Legislative Reform (Renewal of Radio Licences) Order 2020 is a specific kind of statutory instrument called a legislative reform order (LRO). Such orders are designed to reduce certain burdens caused by legislation. These particular orders would extend analogue radio licences due to expire from 2022 for a further ten-year period on the condition that they also provide a service on an appropriate digital radio multiplex.

  • In Focus

    Product standards and measurements after Brexit

    The regulation of product safety, and weights and measures, is based on EU law. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 brings this EU law into UK statute, so that it will continue to have effect after the end of the transition period. Amendments since have made to enable this framework to operate smoothly in the UK, and added provisions such as a UK conformity mark. This article looks at a further statutory instrument that amends retained EU law in the area, particularly in light of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

  • In Focus

    Construction Products (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

    The marketing of construction products in the UK is regulated by EU law. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ensures that EU-derived domestic legislation and directly applicable EU law will continue to have effect after the end of the transition period. In 2019, regulations were introduced to ensure that UK legislation in this area could function effectively after the transition period. However, Northern Ireland will now remain subject to relevant EU laws as a result of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. This article looks at the draft statutory instrument that would amend the 2019 regulations and enable Northern Ireland to continue to meet EU law.

  • In Focus

    Changes to the planning system in England: Permitted development rights and use classes

    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.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Restrictions on businesses and social gatherings

    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

    Pension Protection Fund (Moratorium and Arrangements and Reconstructions for Companies in Financial Difficulty) (Amendment and Revocation) Regulations 2020

    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

    Negative interest rates: The policy debate

    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

    Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) and insolvency

    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

    Covid-19 regulations: Greencore workers

    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.