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My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation. Again, there is no impact assessment. I take the point that the Minister made earlier but I ask for his patience and for assurances on a couple of issues. I am sure he will be able to supply them.
Postal services in New Zealand
My first question relates to the directives that we are rejecting which opened up the sector to competition and defined a universal postal service as a right. What will the situation be post Brexit for remote communities, for which the universal postal service is vital, even though it might not be economically viable to provide? Can the Minister explain for the ignorant what difference this is likely to make to price transparency and the prices of cross-border parcels to and from the UK?
Finally, what do the Government assess will be the effect of removing us from these EU regulations? Will our ability to send and receive parcels cross-border be affected in the future? I am not asking the Minister to look in his crystal ball here, although it would be helpful if he had one to hand, but does he think that it will be harder or easier? The Government have produced no impact assessment, but how can there be no effect of withdrawing from this legislation? He covered all the points that he has made in his speech—and, in fact, a few more—and it was very useful in getting us ready for this debate.
However, there was one thing that I wanted to pick out relating to the Postal Services Regulations , which were set to become redundant and will be revoked in full. I presume that the rationale for wishing to revoke them is that they are derived from an EU directive, I think, rather than a regulation, and they require member states to designate a national regulatory authority in the UK. In this case, Ofcom is the designated authority. The letter goes on to say that the functions of the Secretary of State and Ofcom in regulating the sector are set out in the Postal Services Acts and , but I question whether the removal of the regulations, which designate Ofcom as a specific post of national regulatory authority in the UK, does not in some way discriminate against Ofcom as being the likely regulator for postal services in the UK.
I would be grateful for reassurance that there will be no change in substance, even though there will be a change in the legal basis on which it is appointed. The noble Lord has spent a lot of time discussing the role of the ERGP and the future of that body with Ofcom as an attendee. It is an obvious point but attending is not the same as being a participant, and even though it is an informal body largely operating by consensus, there will still be a difference, so we will be a rule-taker and not a rule-maker in a very real sense.
Again, I would like reassurance that there is no question that we will lose out in terms of how our postal services flow and our parcels are delivered in the future. I have two further points.
General Terms and Conditions of Delivery for Postal Services
Like many noble Lords, I am sure, we have received a number of representations from those involved in cross-channel activities, particularly about getting access to goods and bringing them through the Channel Tunnel to make sure that markets in the UK are satisfied. Therefore, this is about inward goods but it is also about external goods. A lot of material flows out through the tunnel to other places, and a particular issue is time-sensitive goods.
Is there anything that the noble Lord feels it appropriate to share with us, particularly in relation to recent comments by his colleagues in the Department for Transport about the difficulties in ensuring that goods move backwards and forwards? Would that impact on anything that these regulations should do?
Time-sensitive goods are obviously the most important, such as fresh goods and other materials that need to arrive at a particular time. These will be affected by blockages and changes in the overall system. Where they are postal, additional regulatory authority and other issues may be engaged, and there may be costs involved that we are not yet aware of. I would be grateful for some comments on that. Finally, paragraph 7. One issue flagged as red, and therefore not ready, is parcels.source site
ZICTA - Postal and Courier Services
Does the Minister have any information on that, given that it falls within his brief? Is there a problem here and, if so, is it something that he wishes to share with us? It goes on to say:. Will the Minister spell out the differences that are envisaged? My Lords, I thank noble Lords for their contributions to the debate. I hope I can answer the questions that have been put to me. They make only those changes necessary to ensure that the regime continues to be fully functional on exit day. As I said on previous regulations, this will increase legal clarity and be of benefit to national regulatory authorities, businesses and consumers.
The noble Baroness asked about the cost to the taxpayer. This will have minimal impact. As I have made clear, we will continue to offer the same postal and parcel services throughout the United Kingdom as we do now, and as we do to remote communities. There will be no change in liabilities or obligations. Royal Mail will continue to deliver that universal service in line with requirements set out in domestic law.
The noble Baroness also asked what will happen as a result of revoking the cross-border parcel services regulation. Revoking that regulation will mean that the UK will not be required to share pricing information for cross-border parcel deliveries with the European Commission.
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Therefore, comparing prices for cross-border parcel services between the UK and EU member states will continue to be available to consumers. The noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, asked why the Postal Services Regulations are being revoked by these regulations. The regulations designated Ofcom and the Secretary of State as our national regulatory authorities for postal services, as was a requirement of the postal services directive, and that simply no longer applies after EU exit.
In any event, the functions and duties of Ofcom and the Secretary of State relating to postal services are set out in the two Acts I referred to: the Postal Services Act and the Postal Services Act Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments. Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All. Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by.
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