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Minister for External Relations lodges Brexit law

23 January 2018

​The first step in a series of Brexit-related measures has been taken today. A draft law, laying the foundation for the changes Jersey will need to make as a result of Brexit, has been lodged by the Minister for External Relations, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache.

The European Union Repeal and Amendment Law will enable the States to swiftly implement changes to local legislation and ensure a smooth transition to Jersey’s new relationship with the EU. 

The new Law allows the States to decide which EU law will continue to apply in Jersey. It also gives the States Assembly the ability to grant Ministers powers to correct
deficiencies in the Island’s law caused by Brexit, without having to bring the matter before the full Assembly.

These powers are expressly limited so that they cannot be used to impose or increase taxation, create serious criminal offences, or interfere with human rights legislation.

Senator Bailhache commented:
“This draft law is the essential first step in the legal measures that Jersey will need to implement as a result of Brexit. It is crucial that the Government and the States Assembly are equipped to make the necessary corrections to Jersey law to ensure a smooth transition for the Island from its current relationship with the EU to its new relationship in March 2019.

“The States Assembly can make Regulations and Ministers can make Orders much more quickly than Laws can be enacted. If we attempted to make all the necessary changes without these powers, then the volume of Laws required would lead to a procedural traffic-jam for the Government, States Assembly and Privy Council.

“We are taking a substantially different approach to the United Kingdom in bringing this draft law. Whilst the UK is implementing all existing EU legislation which applies to it in one law, we are creating the ability for the Island to carefully select which pieces of EU legislation it wishes to keep. The Law Officers and other Government Departments are working closely together to identify those pieces of legislation which are essential to ensure that the Island’s relationship with the EU operates properly when Protocol 3 falls away on Brexit day.”

The draft law will be debated by the States Assembly on 6 March.

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