HC Deb 29 January 1987 vol 109 cc331-2W
Mr. Sean Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what occasions since June 1979 his Department had to introduce amending legislation to (a) legislation introduced since June 1979 because of doubts about legality or because such legislation had been successfully challenged in the courts and (b) amend or withdraw orders introduced since June 1979, because of doubts about legality or because such orders had been successfully challenged in the courts.

Mr. Butcher

[pursuant to his reply, 26 January 1987, c. 82]: Of approximately 60 public Acts and 1,100 statutory instruments within the field of responsibility of my Department and its predecessors which have been passed or have come into effect since June 1979, I am aware of only four items of legislation which may be considered to fall within the terms of the hon. Member's question. The details are as follows.

As a result of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in case 207/83 (Commission v. United Kingdom), when the Commission of the European Communities successfully challenged the United Kingdom Trade Descriptions (Origin Marking) (Miscellaneous Goods) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/121) on the grounds that it had equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction on imports contrary to article 30 of the treaty of Rome, that order was revoked on 8 March 1986. Also, in the light of a reasoned opinion of the Commission to the effect that maintenance in force of the Trade Descriptions Act 1972 (which imposes requirements as to origin marking for certain categories of goods) is a breach of article 30, the Government by what is now clause 48(2)(a) of the Consumer Protection Bill intends to provide for the repeal of that Act.

Secondly, the Insurance Companies (Advertisements) (Amendment) Regulations 1983 (S.1. 1983/48) contained a defective and inoperable definition of the advertisements to which the Regulations were to apply. This was drawn to my Department's attention by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. The regulations were therefore revoked (without ever coming into effect) on 12 April 1983 by the Insurance Companies (Advertisements) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 1983 (S.I. 1983/396), and replaced by new provisions which came into force on 1 May 1983.

Lastly, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments reported in February 1986 (eleventh report, Session 1985–86) that there was doubt about the vires of the Consumer Credit (Exempt Agreements) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 2) Order 1985 (Si 1985/1918). As a result of that report, the enabling powers in section 16(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 were amended by section 22 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986.