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Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Act 2018

Section 9 – Complying with international obligations

86.The withdrawal of the UK from the EU could automatically result in the UK being in breach of the international obligations of the UK. This could occur for example by virtue of compliance with international obligations being linked to or dependent on continued compliance with EU law. The power in section 9 will enable the Welsh Ministers to make appropriate provision to prevent or remedy any such breach. This could include making provision to implement an international convention which was previously implemented by virtue of membership of the EU.

87.The power to make regulations is restricted to provision within devolved competence, as defined in section 17. As the power in section 9 may be used to make regulations to come into force prior to exit, the restriction in section 108(6)(c) of the GoWA 2006 on legislating incompatibly with EU law will continue to be relevant to regulations coming into force before exit.

88.The power includes the power to modify primary legislation, but is subject to similar restrictions as those that applied to sections 3 and 5. The only differences are there is no restriction on imposing or increasing taxation (although the limits on the Assembly’s legislative competence will provide a degree of restriction in terms of taxation) and section 9 cannot be made to implement the withdrawal agreement. The prohibition on using the power to implement the withdrawal agreement reflects the likelihood that any withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU would form international obligations on the part of the UK. Implementation of the withdrawal agreement would fall under the power in section 10.

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