Stormont committee wasn’t told about new EU laws in time for inquiry

Stormont committee wasn't told about new EU laws in time for inquiry

A key Stormont committee was denied the opportunity to meaningfully review new EU legislation because the UK government took too long to notify MLAs about it, it has emerged.

Members of the Windsor Framework democratic scrutiny committee were told they had missed their chance to hold an inquiry into new EU rules around ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

Committee chairperson Philip McGuigan told a meeting on Thursday that the two new EU regulations had been published in the EU’s official journal on 20 February 2024, meaning that the two-month scrutiny period was due to end on 20 April 2024.

“Consequently, the deadline for the committee to publish a report on the outcome of an inquiry it might have decided to undertake has already passed,” he noted.

“Further, the deadline for 30 members to submit a written notification seeking to prevent the application of the EU Acts has also already passed.

“Given the late notifications from Cabinet Office, it is impossible for the committee to hold an inquiry.”

The committee therefore decided not to hold an inquiry into the new legislation while recording its “dissatisfaction at the handling of these notifications” by the Cabinet Office.

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