Civil Liability Bill likely to be put in slow lane

Despite the Treasury Select Committee identifying insurance as a priority for Brexit negotiations, it is the impact the Brexit agenda will have on the rest of the legislative timetable that will concern insurers most in the next 12 months.

Several key bills have an uncertain future in light of the competing interests of Brexit, which will undoubtedly take precedence for the foreseeable future. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, for example, has already been timetabled for two full parliamentary weeks across the entire House of Commons.

The first casualty is likely to be the yet-to-be-published Civil Liability Bill. It is anticipated that the Government is unlikely to push through these reforms before October 2018. Indeed, this may be extended further as it is not universally supported and is likely to enjoy a rocky passage through parliament.

The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill may fair better. The draft legislation has already been published and appears to have cross party support. Because of the risk posed to consumers if the legislation is not enacted, it is likely to become law sooner rather than later.

The Government has advised it will legislate on changes to the discount rate early in 2018, however this appears to be overly optimistic, particularly if it is to be included in the Civil Liability Bill.