The long anticipated “Great Repeal Bill’’ was officially published by Downing Street yesterday. It will revoke the European Communities Act of 1972 and in-turn transposed all EU law into UK law. It’s introduction is to ensure that there will be no sudden changes to regulations and rules once the UK leaves the bloc in March 2019, and will aim to allow the government to amend some legislation without the scrutiny of Parliament.
Although the bill was published yesterday in order for Britain to exit the EU ‘’with maximum certainty, continuity and control’’, according to the Brexit Minister David Davis, both Houses of Westminster will have to wait until Autumn to vote on it when it receives its second reading. It faces difficult challenges, however. Opposition parties and rebels within the Tory party are already co-operating over ways to re-write the legislation.
Labour’s Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, warned that his party was ‘’putting the government on notice’’ and that they would seek concessions in six areas such as ensuring worker’s rights in Britain remain on par with the EU, incorporating the European Charter of Fundamential rights into UK law, and minimising the scope of the ‘’Henry VIII powers’’, which could allow government ministers to alter legislation with little parliamentary oversight.
The introduction of the Bill comes only days before the second round of Brexit negotiations kick off on Monday and amid conflicting rhetoric between both sides. With the amount of the UK’s Brexit bill still dominating negotiations, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson enflamed tensions when he suggested that the EU could ‘’go whistle’’ over the sums being thrown around. Replying to the comments, Michel Barnier, pleaded with the UK that the clock was ticking and it was time for it to ‘’engage substantially with all the issues’’.
Compliments of Vulcan Consulting – a member of the EACC