Clause 1 provides an overview of the Bill’s main provisions.
Clause 2 disapplies parts of the Protocol and Withdrawal Agreement in domestic law by changing how the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 works. The 2018 Act gives effect to both in domestic law.
Clause 3 limits the effect of separation agreement law so that it must be read in accordance with the Bill and not the Withdrawal Agreement, as is currently required.
Clause 4 disapplies the Protocol’s requirements for the movement of goods and customs and gives Ministers powers to change this approach.
Clause 5 empowers Ministers to legislate for new movement of goods rules.
Clause 6 empowers the HMRC and the Treasury to regulate customs.
Clause 7 establishes a dual regulatory regime in Northern Ireland and the option to choose between compliance with UK or EU requirements, or both.
Clause 8 disapplies the provisions that mean EU law applies to Northern Ireland where they prevent clause 7 from having effect.
Clause 9 empowers Ministers to legislate for the regulation of goods in connection with the Protocol if they consider it appropriate.
Clause 10 defines the ‘regulation of goods’ then gives Ministers the power to change this.
Clause 11 gives additional powers to Ministers in relation to clause 7 on the dual regulatory regime, such as to provide exceptions.
Clause 12 disapplies the Protocol’s state aid provisions and gives Ministers powers to put new arrangements in place.
Clause 13 removes the jurisdiction of the CJEU, the powers of EU representatives and some powers of the Withdrawal Agreement’s governing structures. It also gives Ministers powers to legislate for new arrangements, including those agreed with the EU for supervision and information sharing.
Clause 14 disapplies parts of the Protocol and Withdrawal Agreement which relate to already-disapplied parts. It also gives Ministers powers to legislate for new arrangements.
Clause 15 sets out how Ministers can change which parts of the Protocol or Withdrawal Agreement are switched on/off, and to what extent, providing one of two conditions is met. Important exceptions apply so that changes cannot be made to the Protocol articles designed to protect parts of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement 1998 on citizens’ rights, North-South cooperation, and the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area. However, these protections could be overridden in future by Ministers.
Clause 16 empowers Ministers to make new laws where appropriate in connection with changing the application of the Protocol and Withdrawal Agreement, as per clause 15.
Clause 17 gives broad powers to the Treasury to regulate VAT, excise and any other tax in connection with the Protocol, including to reduce or remove differences between NI and GB.
Clause 18 authorizes Ministers to engage in conduct relating to the Protocol where appropriate, even if it’s not authorised by this Act. Producing guidance is listed as an example in the Bill’s notes but conduct isn’t defined (nor limited) by the Act.
Clause 19 gives Ministers powers to implement any UK-EU agreement that modifies, supplements or replaces the Protocol, and to legislate on related matters.
Clause 20 makes more changes to the role of the CJEU so that domestic courts are prevented from following CJEU principles or decisions, and from referring cases to the CJEU. Clause 20 also gives Ministers two new powers – first, to make new arrangements for domestic courts, and second, to have the option of allowing courts to refer matters to the CJEU in future but only to ask for assistance with interpreting EU law.
Clause 21 authorises UK and Welsh Ministers to spend money for the purpose of, or in connection with, “anything” needed in preparation of regulations being made under this Act.
Clause 22 is one of the most significant clauses in the Bill. It sets parameters for regulations, including that UK Ministers could give Welsh Ministers regulation making powers to carry out the Act, and UK Ministers could determine which scrutiny procedures are used in the Senedd. Clause 22 also authorises regulations made under this Act to suspend, repeal or change domestic law, including any legislation made by the Senedd which gives effect to the Protocol or Withdrawal Agreement.
Clause 23 sets procedural rules for regulations made under this Act.
Clause 24 sets rules for tax and customs regulations made under this Act.
Clause 25 defines terms used in this Act.
Clause 26 determines this Act’s territorial extent, when it comes into force and its title. This provides that its section on final provisions (clauses 21-25) come into force on the day the Act is passed, while its remaining provisions come into force on days appointed by UK Ministers in regulations.