For Westminster it was the Great Repeal Bill, for Jersey it’ll be the less-catchy but equally important European Union Repeal and Amendment Law.
The draft law has been lodged by External Relations Minister, Senator Philip Bailhache, as part of the island’s plans to prepare for the impact of Brexit.
The law, which is very different to the UK’s approach, will give the States a faster way to decide which EU laws should continue to apply in Jersey as well the right for parliament to grant ministers powers to make changes to other affected laws without the need for a States debate.
And, aware such powers could raise concerns of a political ‘land grab’, the department says the 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 said: “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 is due to be debated by the States Assembly on 6 March.