It is now over 14 years since Lord Justice Laws expressed dismay in the "Metric Martyrs" case about the "nightmare of a paper chase" involved in weights and measures legislation. He was dealing with criminal offences relating to how vegetables were weighed out for customers and said - "I regard it as lamentable that criminal offences should be created by such a maze of cross-references in subordinate legislation."
The same could be said of Voter Registration. I will try to demonstrate - as briefly as possible - why.
There may be a problem. The European Union (Voter Registration) Regulations tell us precisely when they were made - 16.29 hours on 9th June. According to Regulation 1, these Regulations commence when made - i.e. 1629 hours on 9th June. It seems, as Carl Gardner points out in his Head of Legal post of 9th June, that the period from midnight 7th June to 16.29 on 9th June may not be covered. Whether this will matter remains to be seen. Probably not.
In any event, I think that in this instance it is clearly implicit that Parliament intended the Voter Registration Regulations to cover the period from midnight 7th to midnight 9th. Any common law presumption against retrospective legislation may be overcome by necessary implication especially where the new law is made to deal with a matter of such fundamental democratic importance as the right to vote.
Perhaps next time I will do my planned walk but it's a pity that, in a democracy where voting is vital, our statutory electoral law is in such a mess. Time for a pint in the local. Yes, beer may still be legally sold in pints!