I firmly believe in the need for Parliament to scrutinise the actions of the Government and so I entirely appreciate concerns regarding this matter.
This Bill will allow the UK to establish its own stand-alone customs regime once we have left the European Union. In leaving the EU the UK will also be leaving the Customs Union, so we require a stand-alone customs regime.
It is usual practice for primary legislation to establish a framework and for secondary legislation to set out the rules concerning administration, collection and enforcement of tax. The Bill contains appropriate delegated powers to allow the Government to deliver on a range of potential outcomes from the negotiations with the EU.
Parliament does have the opportunity to exercise proper scrutiny of any regulations. For example, the House of Commons would be asked to expressly approve the first UK customs tariff and any introduction of export duty. The Bill will allow the Government to give effect to legislation immediately in order to ensure that there is not a gap in the legislative provisions, but the regulations would cease to apply after a short period of time in the event that they did not obtain the express approval of the House of Commons.
In the event that a customs arrangement with another country or territory is agreed, such a move would be subject to a treaty and so would not come into effect until approved by the House of Commons.