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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Section 23: Section 20 not to apply to certain descriptions of treaties

144.This section makes provision in respect of those classes of treaties that were dealt with outside the Ponsonby Rule, because they are scrutinised by other means.

145.Subsection (1) states that section 20 does not apply to a treaty covered by section 12 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (which provides for treaties resulting in an increase in the European Parliament’s powers not to be ratified unless approved by Act of Parliament) or by section 5 of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 (which provides for amendments to the founding treaties not to be ratified unless approved by Act of Parliament).

146.Subsection (2) states that the section 20 procedure does not apply to treaties in relation to which an Order in Council may be made under section 158 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (double taxation conventions), section 2 of the Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Act 2010 (double taxation arrangements) or section 173 of the Finance Act 2006 (international tax enforcement arrangements).

147.Subsection (3) states that the procedure does not apply to treaties concluded by the government of a British Overseas Territory, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. (Such treaties are concluded under the authority given by the United Kingdom Government).

148.Subsection (4) provides for treaties that have already been laid before Parliament before section 20 comes into force. It states that these treaties will not be covered by section 20. This means that the legislation does not cover treaties that have already been laid under the Ponsonby Rule, even if ratification has not yet taken place.

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