It was only the end of February when the Lord Chancellor made a statement pushing implementation back to this August. I commented at the time that it was “very difficult to see further delay after the Lord Chancellor’s intervention today.”
In ordinary times that would surely have been the case. But the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the two months since and the changes it has brought to the government’s priorities have prompted the Lord Chancellor to step in again and confirm a further postponement to April 2021. Although his latest statement refers to the “unprecedented impact on the medical, legal and insurance sectors” of the pandemic it should be noted that it begins with a clearly restated commitment to these reforms.
If there is no further delay then the measures are set to go live some five and a half years after first being outlined in the Autumn Statement of 2015.
Just like the town folk in the fairy tale about the duped naked Emperor, we could all see that something odd was going on here but none of us called it out. The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland now has.
In a Parliamentary statement today he confirmed that implementation of the whiplash reforms will be delayed until 1 August 2020. He also clarified important aspects of the package of measures, including handling arrangements for vulnerable road users and the shelving of plans for ADR.
By any measure the outcome of yesterday’s election was a significant point in the UK’s politics. The returning of the Conservative government with a chunky majority means, first and foremost, that the UK will leave the EU in a little over six weeks, on 31 January 2020. In advance of a new Queen’s Speech, likely to be next week, are there already indications of what policies to expect from the new administration in the area of civil justice?