The EU Withdrawal Bill does not give Ministers large powers

It is one of those ironies that the people who most liked our membership of the EU which sidelined Parliament over large numbers of important laws, now claim wrongly that the Withdrawal Bill gives Ministers special powers to by pass our democracy. On the contrary, the Withdrawal Bill restores Parliamentary control over our laws in a very real way.

The UK has always had two main types of law approved by Parliament. Main policies and important changes are put into law by Act of Parliament. This requires a long deliberative process in both House of Parliament before approval. Subsidiary details, ways of implementing the legislation and updates to values and dates are often put through in Statutory Instruments. These go through after a short debate on a vote to approve or reject the whole Instrument.

During our time in the EU governments of all persuasions used these Statutory Instruments to impose whole new laws that would otherwise have required an Act of Parliament in order to implement EU Directives. They were able to do so using the argument that Parliament had legislated in the original European membership Act to accept all these EEC/EU laws. Whilst governments observed the form that they had to be approved as Statutory Instruments, Parliament was also told in each case it had to vote for these new laws to conform with the requirements of our membership of the EU.

The Withdrawal Bill is as important a piece of legislation as the European Communities Act which it repeals. It will remove all ability of Parliament in future to put through what are effectively complex new laws without the need for an Act of Parliament. It will restore UK democracy.

It also will transfer all current EU law into good UK law to ensure continuity, and to reassure Remain voters. Thereafter Parliament will only be able to change these European laws if government proposes and MPs accept new primary legislation to do so. With this in mind the government is planning a Fishing, Customs, Trade and other new laws next year to change features of the EU law in these areas.

Opposition MPs object to the relatively minor power that Ministers may, under the this draft legislation, make changes to EU laws by Statutory Instrument where there are technical matters that need cleaning up. For example many EU laws refer to the UK as a member state. These references need to be amended to former member state. Some EU laws grant rights of appeal to EU bodies whose powers will be removed by this legislation, so Ministers need to nominate new appellate bodies.

Ministers have made it quite clear these powers are not designed to allow them to change the sense or purpose of the law with an Act of Parliament. They will only be used for technical matters. Parliament anyway has the right to veto any SI under these powers, so it would be easy to stop any abuse.


  1. Bryan Harris
    September 6, 2017

    We saw far too much gold plating of EU laws, especially when labour were in power, to increase the power of the state or to punish the middle class – One hopes under the new process that all changes to laws will be more clearly visible… not only sticking to their intent, but that no sub-clauses will add in little extras…

    In other words, if a bill is to be passed to allow a railway to be built from the Fens to Wales, there won’t be anything in that bill but railway talk!

    1. Hope
      September 6, 2017

      All remainers claimed EU was very small, clegg in particular went on TV to make claims that only a tiny amount of EU law. If so small why all the fuss now because the main body,of work will carry on as before unless they lied to us?

    2. lp
      September 6, 2017

      We really don’t need this repeal act because that nice Mr Cameron told us that only 14% of UK laws came from the E.U. That wonderful Mr Clegg said it was only 7%.

      1. Stewart
        September 7, 2017

        Whether it is 14 or 7, it still needs repealing. What is your point?

        1. Hope
          September 8, 2017

          The point is that the amount is far larger than we were told, MPs had no say over Eau law being imposed upon us irrespective of the current debate. In short remainers want it both ways.

  2. Roy Grainger
    September 6, 2017

    Starmer knows all this. He is opposing the Brexit bill because he wants to stay in the EU as a matter of principle and also because staying in the EU would prevent Corbyn from implementing his economic policies. Win/Win for the Blairites.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 6, 2017


      Except where is the “principle” in staying in the anti-democratic, largely corrupt and sclerotic EU?

  3. Lifelogic
    September 6, 2017

    Indeed. But has T May still got the authority or the numbers to get this through in a sensible form?

    Newsnight last night gave much of programme over to the lefty “Think Tank” the IPPR. They actually seem to think the answer to the UK’s productivity problem is yet more government, to stay in the EU and have yet more taxation as “austerity has gone too far”.

    So a state sector at nearly 50% of GDP is not enough for them?

    Let us hope no one tries this economic suicide plan. What is actually needed is to half the size of the (very unproductive) state sector and get them off the backs of the productive. Release many of the (largely unproductive/often actually anti-productive) state sector employees to get a productive job and cut taxes. That way business will have the money and confidence to invest in better productivity. It is hardly rocket science.

    Ditch the expensive, greencrap energy religion too.

    This would do wonders for productivity, wages, growth, optimism and jobs. Alas we have a choice between socialist T May or the worse still Corbyn. Let us hope the Tories can finally come to their senses and we can avoid a UK version of Venezuela.

  4. Mike Stallard
    September 6, 2017

    Mr Redwood, yesterday in parliament you asked Mr Davis a question:
    You congratulated the Secretary of State for explaining that we have no legal liability to pay money above our contributions up to the date of departure.

    You then put to Mr Davis that the EU had “a simple choice to make”. It could either trade with us with no new tariffs or barriers, because we have made a very generous offer (on a cash sum), “or it can trade with us under World Trade Organisation rules, which we know works fine for us because that is what we do with the rest of the world”.

    My own question to you is this:
    Please can you name one country in the world that trades with the EU PURELY under WTO Rules?
    (Of course, every country trades under WTO Rules. The problem is that you need supplementary rules with the EU to comply with their Directives. What about Approved Economic Operators too? They are little or nothing to do with WTO rules. Of course, the tariffs are important as well. Agricultural ones are fairly steep. Trading with the EU as a Third Country on 30 Marsh 2019 is going to be therefore next to impossible.)

    1. Henry Spark
      September 6, 2017

      Good questions. No answer from Mr Redwood. Because he has no answer. He keeps saying other countries trade with the EU under the WTO. It is not true!

      Reply Yes it is true. The EU will likely sign a customs agreement but if they dont we can set out sensible arrangements at our border which they will observe and they have common arrangements at their borders which we will observe.

      1. bratwurst
        September 6, 2017

        The EU does not have the infrastructure to cope with the volume of checks necessary when we become a ‘third country’.
        And no country trades with the EU solely under WTO rules.

      2. Vanessa
        September 7, 2017

        REPLY to REPLY
        Name one ???????? Mr Redwood.

    2. Mark B
      September 6, 2017

      No answer came the stern reply


    3. NickC
      September 6, 2017

      Mike, WTO members, representing 98% of world trade, trade under WTO rules. That includes the EU. Unlike the EU, the WTO does not prevent members from negotiating their own bi/multilateral RTAs. All that WTO members have to do is “Notify” the WTO of those deals, which become part of the WTO rules.

      No (“Third”) country needs domestic legislation to comply with the EU’s Directives or Regulations for its exporters to sell into the EU. Compliance with the EU’s laws is for the exporting business to do. Trade with the EU as a Third Country on 30 March 2019 is going to be exactly like the rest of the world already does.

      1. Helena
        September 6, 2017

        Nick, you are right that trade with the EU as a Third Country on 30 March 2019 is going to be exactly like the rest of the world already does. You don’t seem aware what a disaster for the UK this is. Suddenly almost half our exports will face tariffs and non tariff barriers that they never faced before. You seem totally relaxed about the loss of the massive trade advantages we. as EU members, have over the rest of the world

        1. NickC
          September 7, 2017

          That’s because 90% of our GDP is not exports to the EU. Which do you think is the more important, the 10% or the 90%? Yet, in the EU, the 90% is strangled by the EU’s rules which are not needed, or not needed in the form that the EU imposes, for either our domestic market or our exports to the rest of the world.

    4. Vanessa
      September 6, 2017

      Well said Mr Stallard. At last someone on this site who knows a thing or two!! As you say there is not one country in the world which trades SOLELY under WTO rules, they all have Trade Agreements to back it up. This government and especially David Davis is childish in his ignorance of how the EU works and how our trade will be badly damaged if we leave without a good deal. I read yesterday that the EEA/EfTA group of countries now say they do NOT want Britain in their “club” so that possibility is now closed to us. How stupid can you be?

      1. NickC
        September 6, 2017

        Vanessa, You may enjoy claiming that David Davis “… is childish in his ignorance of how the EU works …” but you must know that your opinion is implausible.

        Actually it is you who is ignorant. The EFTA is a completely separate organisation to the EU. Some EFTA members have then separately signed up to the EEA agreement with the EU. Do not conflate the EFTA with the EEA agreement.

        Moreover all WTO signatory countries trade SOLELY under WTO rules, for the simple reason that all RTAs are notified to the WTO (that is an obligation), and therefore become binding under WTO rules.

      2. Denis Cooper
        September 6, 2017

        It was never a possibility anyway, not if the British government decided to fully respect the will of the British people as expressed in the referendum.

      3. Mike Stallard
        September 6, 2017

        Vanessa, I am very grateful for your support. thank you.
        The problem is actually AEOs. In order to prevent terrorism (including smuggling dirty bombs on ships and planes, including Islamic terrorists with guns and including international criminal gangs and their drugs and human traffic,) the EU has taken part in a clever system which allows the goods to be checked at packing in the country of origin. Approved firms are called Approved Economic Operators (AEOs) and their goods are simply waved through after a brief check on computers until they reach their destination. Of course, the AEO system depends on conforming to EU regulation which change regularly. once a country is outside the EU, it has to start all over again to prove conformity as it will no longer be on the computer. That is what M. Barnier is talking about and warning us about.

        1. David Price
          September 8, 2017

          Isn’t AEO status associated with WCO membership? The UK has been a member since 12th September 1952, it was one of the original contracting parties establishing the Customs Co-operation Council, long before the EU even existed. As far as I can tell from the WCO website the UK has continued to be a contracting party to WCO conventions and agreements alongside other EU countries.

          The EU itself is not a member of the WCO but has “status akin to membership”, so it will be interesting to see how the EU and it’s friends contort themselves when the EU attempts to get UK membership rescinded or attempts to breach WCO agreements.

      4. David Price
        September 7, 2017

        @Vanessa – How is this news, EFTA members were saying this over a year ago.

        According to the EU itself ( it does not appear to have trade agreements with the US, Japan, China, Australia or New Zealand (as examples). So how do we or the EU trade with them today? Is the EU operating outside the WTO?

    5. John
      September 6, 2017

      I had a quick look. The EU has 34 odd agreement signed and complete, mostly small countries and no doubt includes WTO terms within them.

      The rest, say 20 odd are incomplete or not signed at all and not going to be.

      So out of the 195 odd countries I would say rather a lot trade under WTO.

      Mike, try the internet.

    6. David Price
      September 7, 2017

      What is your point? Why is Mr Fox doing the rounds of countries outside the EU, Mrs May in Japan and Mr Davis attempting to negotiate with Mr Barnier if not to establish trade agreements.

      Even your sainted EU admits the trading world has changed under the auspices of the WTO away from domination by the EU and the US multilateral approach to bilaterial and multifaceted agreements. Why do you keep presenting the EU as the touchstone for all trade?

  5. eeyore
    September 6, 2017

    “Ministers have made it quite clear these powers . . . will only be used for technical matters.” Quite so, but what happens when a new government comes in which has a keen relish for power but few scruples about abusing it?

    Britain’s winner-takes-all constitution has few checks and balances. It assumes those in power are people of goodwill. It would be ironic indeed if legislation from this Conservative government smoothed the way for a future Marxist dictatorship.

    1. Tim
      September 6, 2017


      For me, a Corbyn government is a price I would pay to prevent the EU having any legal power over me.

    2. Chris
      September 6, 2017

      You are right, Eeyore. Just the same way in which many councils apparently abused the RIPA legislation to spy on households.

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 6, 2017

      As I recall there’s a two year sunset clause on those powers.

  6. alte fritz
    September 6, 2017

    Some of the hardest to understand legislation we have flows from EU Directives which seem never to have been subject to any robust scrutiny. Also, many are to be found in….Statutory Instruments.

    The line taken by the Remoaner wing of the pro EU movement and an irresponsible opposition will embitter politics for a generation.

  7. Andy Marlot
    September 6, 2017

    Whilst I am fully in favour of limiting the power of ministers keeping all the EU laws that have hamstrung technology and business is an act of stupidity. The chance to do away with the stifling burden of bureaucracy and regulation should be taken. To throw that chance away just to calm people so dim that they believe Brussels has been good for Britain is evidence that politicians do not understand or care about how the economy really works (not that much further evidence is required). Here’s an idea- don’t nominate any new appellate bodies. Eliminate the rules. Just try it. Will the country sink beneath the sea? Will we all disappear in a puff of smoke? No, what will actually happen is that ordinary people will get on with their lives with slightly less interference from government. What a boon that would be.

    Reply This Bill takes back control over all our laws and ensures continuity of law. This is not the Bill to amend or repeal. That can be done later where there is public and Parliamentary consent for such changes. The Brexit vote gave us a mandate to take back control, not to remove particular EU laws.

    1. NickC
      September 6, 2017

      Andy, There are a lot of laws and rules that we could happily do without. Unfortunately there is no agreement within Parliament what, and how many, these are. Moreover the sheer quantity and complexity of EU Regulations means there is simply not the time to sort them out individually. We live in a complex society – we really do need some rules, and we really do need the continuity.

  8. Mark B
    September 6, 2017

    Good morning.

    It was never going to be easy leaving the EU, so why are people trying to make it even harder ?

    Whether you agree with what the government is doing or not, or what laws they make, change or repeal, there is one deciding factor in all this that all MP’s must consider – we the the electorate. If there is something that our parliament does or does not do, we have the power to effect change via the ballot box. Currently, only the EU Commission can propose regulation and laws with the EU Parliament just rubber stamping them. No point in complaining, we cannot vote the Commissioners out. So no change !

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Since the referendum over a year ago we have moved in the right direction and at a steady pace. As time passes we need to up the pace a bit. What say you ?

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 6, 2017

      As we will be leaving the EU all MPs should also be considering whether their actions are strengthening or weakening our government’s hand in the negotiations with the EU. Sadly we have a large number of MPs – and even more Lords, and also many journalists and commentators – who are on the side of the EU and who want to do everything they can to weaken our negotiating position.

  9. Duncan
    September 6, 2017

    On this issue it matters not one jot what Labour think, does or says. They oppose for the sake of opposing but retain the fact that Labour’s traditional support base is without exception vehemently anti-EU in both sentiment and instinct. This alone gives the Tories an enormous amount of political capital in areas that they have always traditionally lacked.

    I know what traditional Labour supporters stand for and I know many can’t vote Tory for cultural reasons but the Tories can make political gains in the north if they take us out of the EU in its entirety and expose Labour for the treacherous rabble they have become

    The Tories need to stand up, express with pride their patriotism and commit themselves to creating, once again, a free and independent UK.

    1. Martin
      September 6, 2017

      Will you be wanting Roman Catholics excluded from office as they owe allegiance to the Pontiff? Is that treason in your logic ( he who does not agree with me is a traitor) ?

  10. acorn
    September 6, 2017

    EU Directives do need a UK primary Act, EU Regulations are implemented by UK secondary legislation.

    The EU process is the same as the UK. We voted for the EU Treaties, which are the primary legislation. Regulations, Directives and Decisions are EU secondary legislation in decending level of Treaty implementation. The latter two allow member state local interpretation.

    Reply Untrue. EU Regulations are directly acting without any UK legislative process, and most EU Directives have been implemented in the UK by SIs, not primary legislation, under the 1972 Act powers which were Henry VIII on a grand scale.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      September 6, 2017

      Dear John–Personally I reckon we could do with Henry VIII right now–Considerably less poncing about and a few heads chopped off would do it for me. He would no more be interested in bowing to Brussels than to the Pope, and I suppose much less so. The latest so-called problems raised by (some in) the Labour Party are unnecessary and in any reasonable understanding pose not the slightest risk to Workers’ Rights etc. It is all a bit hard to believe.

    2. acorn
      September 6, 2017

      “EU Regulations are directly acting without any UK legislative process”.

      The UK legislative process was started by signing the EU Treaty, that was the primary Act that substituted henceforth for any further UK Acts of Parliament, that would be needed to implement EU Statutory Instruments, specifically “regulations” that implement Treaty policies directly across the EU.

    3. Andy
      September 6, 2017

      Errrr no. EU Law has effect in the UK via the 1972 Act. This contains a schedule of Treaties and it is only once a Treaty is added to this schedule that it has any meaning in UK Law. So EU Directives gain their legitimacy via the Statutory Instrument the Government lays before both Houses, not via a full Act of Parliament which is quite different. Once we leave the EU we effectively denounce the Treaties so even if Remainiac MPs succeed in sinking the Withdrawl Bill it will not keep us in the EU because the Treaties will no longer be in accord with the schedule.

      Reply The Treaties are also directly acting in international law which is why we have to leave under Art 50 as well.

      1. acorn
        September 6, 2017

        Andy, there is a diagram on the Bill explanatory notes, showing the reason for, and what the 1972 ECA does.

        JR, there are two Bills which I presume are not part of the government’s”Eight Brexit Bills”. and . Will these go anywhere or will they be killed off?

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    September 6, 2017

    Thank you for your clarification Mr Redwood. Is the proposed legislation as specific about the elements of existing legislation that can be changed as you write or could it be open to abuse?

    If elements ministers can adjust are specified and reasonable then opposition is playing politics, if not they are doing their job.

  12. Richard1
    September 6, 2017

    I see that the greatly overrated Lord Adonis had called on the BBC to sack Andrew Neil, by far its most effective and incisive interviewer, on the grounds that he appears pro Brexit. Lord Adonis’s view presumably is that all BBC interviewers and commentators must be anti Brexit, like him. Neil is the only BBC interviewer who questions Leave and Remain arguments with equal force. All other interviewers, even John Humphrys, go very easy on Remain and very tough on Leave. Andrew Neil applied the same approach on the economy during the coalition government, when the BBC was aligned with the Labour Party in opposing deficit reduction. To his great credit, Andrew Neil even applies this rigorous and even handed scrutiny on global warming and green issues on the very rare occasions the BBC permits any such scrutiny of hysterical claims of of green policies. Long may be remain – I won’t bother with Sunday politics now he’s been kicked off that.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 6, 2017

      Richard 1

      Disgraceful! We will boycott it too. He was the only journalist worth listening to.

    2. James Matthews
      September 6, 2017

      Even some left wing commentators have challenged the preposterous views articulated by Adonis, but what he says is symptomatic of a widespread belief that the BBC must always support the liberal establishment, as indeed it does, just with rather more skill and subtlety than Adonis would wish.

      Replacing Neil on The Daily Politics with the daughter of a former leader of the Labour Party does not inspire confidence.

    3. Bob
      September 7, 2017

      The BBC’s true mission is to regulate opinion and promote Common Purpose objectives, without even acknowledging its existence.

    4. Chris S
      September 7, 2017

      I could not agree more with this post.

      Andrew Neil is streets ahead of every other current political interviewer but his agreeing to step down from The Sunday Politics so that the BBC could give that part of his job to yet another woman might have been an acceptable suggestion as it gives him weekends off.

      However, I would have thought that the BBC might have learned an important lesson from having appointed an ineffective political editor just because of her gender.

      But no, it appears that they put political correctness ahead of incisive political discourse. The fact that Andrew’s replacement just happens to be the daughter of a late leading Labour politician must be the icing on the cake.

  13. Prigger
    September 6, 2017

    The Mars chocolate company intends to spend $1 billion on a ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan aimed at countering Climate Change.
    This is precisely where the holistic idea of the wisdom of Free Enterprise not just falls down but collapses in the absolute. We see this capitalistic gross waste of money and hard won resources everywhere. The difference between a Socialist regime/government wasting tax -payers money is there is at least many people involved…there are electoral consequences. It can be stopped more or less immediately.

    1. NickC
      September 6, 2017

      Prigger, If only the government merely wasted $1 billion.

  14. Prigger
    September 6, 2017

    Yes but that will not stop Labour from hindering the progress of it with the background narrative of reversing the Brexit vote.

  15. Ian Wragg
    September 6, 2017

    Let’s hope the Repeal Bill passes and is not used as a springboard for shadowing future EU legislation.
    We understand that we have to meet local requirements to trade with the EU as we do with the rest of the world. This does not mean we have to follow their environmental, social and employment laws.
    A committee should start immediately after Brexit repealing unnecessary EU legislation.

  16. Denis Cooper
    September 6, 2017

    “It also will transfer all current EU law into good UK law”

    All applicable EU law is already UK law, as pointed out yesterday. But it is UK law by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972 whereas in the future the legal base will be provided by this new Act.

    “The Treaty does not touch any of the matters which concern solely England and the people in it. These are still governed by English law. They are not affected by the Treaty. But when we come to matters with a European element, the Treaty is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back, Parliament has decreed that the Treaty is henceforward to be part of our law. It is equal in force to any statute.”

    Parliament had decreed that through the 1972 Act.

    1. Andy
      September 6, 2017

      With respect I do not think ‘EU Law is already UK Law’, rather EU Law is ‘available’ in UK Law by virtue of the 1972 Act. But as I understand matters, though I am no lawyer professed, the Act itself does not make EU Law UK Law, and acts as a mechanism to enable EU Law to function in the UK. This can only be done by virtue of the Schedule of Treaties which allows Parliament to add a treaty to the list which then makes it applicable in UK Law. Once teh Treaties are denounced teh 1972 Act is meaningless.

      I read a most interesting article on the main clause in the 1972 Act which was fought over in the Supreme Court where someone dissected the grammar and from this it would seem their Lordships didn’t quite grasp what they were reading !!!

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 6, 2017

        Well, I was quoting Lord Denning in 1974:

        “… the Treaty is henceforward to be part of our law”;

        from which it must follow that anything (applicable) springing from the Treaty, the entire body of (applicable) EU law, is also part of our law.

        And that is as decreed by Parliament in its ECA 72:

        “All such rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions from time to time created or arising by or under the Treaties, and all such remedies and procedures from time to time provided for by or under the Treaties, as in accordance with the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall be recognised and available in law, and be enforced, allowed and followed accordingly … ”

        And some people who still think that is fine are pretending to be upset by the proposed use of secondary legislation for necessary minor tidying up of texts when the EU laws are moved en masse from that present base in our law to a new legal base, namely the new Act.

  17. E.S Tablishment
    September 6, 2017

    “Parliament anyway has the right to veto any SI under these powers, so it would be easy to stop any abuse.” So what is the Opposition position in regard to this, given that it is true? Will The Speaker…has he the power…to stop or limit the duration of the debate in Parliament and the obvious misuse of Parliamentary resources?

  18. stred
    September 6, 2017

    The dishonesty of Labour politicians is nauseating. At least the Dums are honest about undermining democracy.

  19. Denis Cooper
    September 6, 2017

    The question is the extent to which the government will allow the opposition parties and much of the mass media to continue to propagate their brazen lies on this. If the Brexit department chose they could really hammer them, but the evidence so far suggests that David Davis won’t be bothered. There is a serious risk that eventually the public will be misled into turning against Brexit, but that possibility doesn’t seem to worry him.

  20. Iain Moore
    September 6, 2017

    The Government made a rod for their own back by misnaming the Bill and allowing it to be spun as the Great Repeal Bill, it should have been called as the Great Transfer Bill.

    As to the legislation, the Remainers never cared too much when EU legislation was bypassing Parliament , and they don’t seem to understand what it is to be a self governing nation again , where no legislation is locked away in EU treaties beyond any accountability. If there is legislation on the books they don’t like , in four years time they can seek a mandate at an election to change them . All this furore about Henry VIII clauses, they are only ‘permanent’ until the next election, then another Government can change or rid us of them.

    Reply The government accepted advice not to name it the Great Repeal Bill. It is called the EU Withdrawal Bill.

  21. Chris S
    September 6, 2017

    Sitting here in rural France for a couple of weeks I had the time to watch most of David Davies’ statement yesterday. He really does have a command of his brief and no questions troubled him. Just as well because the Speaker singularly failed to suppress the shouting from tbe opposition. Starmer, however had little to contribute and was ineffective, particularly remaining silent when DD suggested that Labour would be prepared to pay €100bn.

    We need as clean a break as possible to avoid the inevitable overstating of the cost of contributing to EU bodies we wish to continue with. Why are we trying to remain with the Science Research body ? We might get €3bn more out than we currently put in but that has to be seen against our net contribution that is three times that amount every month !

    In any event we can be very certain they will make sure we are net contributors after Brexit.

  22. Bert Young
    September 6, 2017

    MPs must always remind themselves that they are the representatives of the people and not just presenters of their ego . The referendum made it clear – and opinion polls more so since , that we voted to leave ( the sooner the better ) . Arguments now centre on all sorts of trivia about our continuing relationship with the EU and have given the impression that withdrawal can be delayed and may not even happen . The voting public must not be let down by MPs and require constant reassurance that Brexit will happen . The Withdrawal Bill is nothing more than a re-affirmation of the public’s will ; MPs are now in the spotlight and have to remember the basic truth .

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    September 6, 2017

    Any excuse to prevent progress with Brexit and eventual reversal of the democratic vote to leave the EU is behind all this nonsense by MPs, supported by their media propagandists.

  24. Epikouros
    September 6, 2017

    Modern day ethics appears to condone those of us who are best at manipulation, suppression and distortion and condemn those of us who have the audacity to be open, frank and tell it as it is. Those whose narrative and actions does not meet with left wing and progressives approval are howled down and demands are made that they shut up and be punished. Put forward a sensible and responsible proposition if it does not meet with official approval of a vested interest or hinders it’s aims then it will attract attack that is neither fair or reasonable. That is why this bill and so many other similar actions and proposals meet with such ill tempered and irrational opposition.

  25. agricola
    September 6, 2017

    Thank you for your explanation, lets hope that ministers show sufficient restraint to avoid any serious clashes with Parliament.

  26. Duncan
    September 6, 2017

    On a side-note it appears from various sources that the British Civil Service is working actively and aggressively to undermine and weaken the UK’s move towards Brexit. These anti-democratic, establishment vested interests will stop at nothing to subvert the Tories policy of full EU withdrawal

    It is important elected representatives stand up in Parliament and expose who these people are and the sanctions they should face for choosing to attempt to subvert the will of the people

    1. Roy Grainger
      September 6, 2017

      If you are talking about the leak of the proposed new border arrangements for EU citizens then they have failed to undermine anything because they all seem entirely reasonable – I have lived in both EU and non-EU countries and visited dozens of others and I don’t see anything unusual in the proposals at all, in fact they are rather liberal compared with many other countries. It is quite amusing to see the Guardian foaming at the mouth because, for example, EU citizens will have to show their passports on entry to the UK (one of the proposals).

  27. William Long
    September 6, 2017

    This is a really prime example of the ability of the opposition, on both sides of the House, and all sides of the Lords, the BBC and all the other lefties, to make a big deal of something that is, as you say, largely a technicality, but a very necessary one. Why is it in these cases, that the view of common sense finds it so difficult to get itself across?

  28. A.Sedgwick
    September 6, 2017

    Clarke, Heseltine, Soubry et al please respond.

    1. Roy Grainger
      September 6, 2017

      Sourby has said no-one on the Tory side will vote against the second reading of the bill. However it is plain several Labour MPs will not vote against it either. I guess Sourby is keeping her powder dry for the hundreds of amendments that will be put forward later.

  29. oldtimer
    September 6, 2017

    Thank you for that explanation.

    Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I watched in full the statement by David Davis and the ensuing questions to him and replies by him concerning the status of negotiations re exiting the EU. My conclusions were that:
    (a) the EU negotiators are indeed playing the time card in the hope of panicking the UK establishment into conceding an unjustified financial settlement on exit. I hope and trust that ministers will reject this.
    (b) the Labour party position is one of muddle and confusion in which, currently, the remainers and would be reversers appear to be driving its policy.
    (c) the quality of some of the questions and the MPs asking them were alarmingly low – even after allowing for the ritual posturing and expressions of high dudgeon that might be expected from an opposition party.

  30. Know-Dice
    September 6, 2017

    The sharks are circling…

    Labour are detecting weakness in the Government, they are just trying it on for political gain, rather than for the benefit of the Country…typical.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 6, 2017


      You can count Sturgeon in on that too. No doubt the SNP will be on their high horse.

  31. Nig l
    September 6, 2017

    A very transparent opportunistic position to put pressure on a government with a very small majority. More worrying is the leaking of a major document from the Home Office on migration. Obviously the Civil Service have to be behind it making it again obvious that despite the requiremt that they be politically neutral, they are actively working against the democratic wishes of the people. No statement or action yet from HMG but It must demand that Sir Jeremy Hayward finds the source and sends a clear message to the CS that this must stop.

    Unfortunately my guess is that as an avowed Remoaner he has every sympathy for these type of actions.

    1. ian wragg
      September 6, 2017

      The more the establishment both here and in Europe try and undermine the Brexit vote, the stiffer will become the resolve of the British.
      We don’t like being pushed around by foreigners and we have always been aware of the fifth column residing in government.
      The votes on Brexit will expose whoever prefers rule by a foreign power. They should be very afraid at the next election.

      1. Mitchel
        September 6, 2017

        I’m looking forward to being “up for Amber” next election night (assuming they don’t find her a safer seat in the meantime!).

    2. Handbags
      September 6, 2017

      I suspect it’s been deliberately leaked by the government – to show the electorate that they are taking their concerns about immigration seriously.

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 6, 2017

        And we will resume control of immigration from the continent on March 29th 2019 when we leave the EU, there will be no question of remaining bound by the four freedoms of the EU Single Market for a transitional period.

    3. MickN
      September 6, 2017

      The one thing about this “leak” that I find really rather amusing is that the left and the usual suspects are spitting feathers that the government is looking into how to reduce immigration into this country. Those outside of London and the BBC will actually see it rather differently. A lot of people particularly in the Northern Labour strongholds will see it as a lot more inkeeping with their reasons for voting to leave the EU than their parties betrayal of their wishes when the whipping of the Labour party yesterday to vote down the leaving bill. I for one am rather cheered at the “leak”

  32. Denis Cooper
    September 6, 2017

    It’s shocking news that civil servants in the Home Office have been working up plans to restrict immigration from the EU once we have left and are no longer bound by the EU’s rules on the freedom of movement of persons. All those MPs who believe in uncontrolled and unlimited immigration, which is in fact most of them, should band together to stop Brexit and ensure continued mass immigration by keeping us under the thumb of the EU. And the patriotic civil servant who leaked this confidential government document to the Guardian should be tracked down and suitably rewarded.

    There is another small point about this story. It says that mass immigration from the EU will cease immediately we have left the EU. However there is now the suggestion that even after we have formally left the EU there should be a transitional period when we were still subject to EU law, which could just be a few years or could be in perpetuity. Clearly in that case mass immigration from the EU could not cease immediately after we have left the EU, that would have to wait until the end of the transitional period.

    Incidentally my idea of a transitional period is that at the start you are in one state and at the end you are in another, different, state, but that transition is a gradual process rather then an instantaneous change. I don’t see how a transitional period when you just remain in essentially the original state, as is now being proposed for Labour for any transitional period after we have left the EU – we stay in the EU Single Market, and we stay in the EU Customs Union – can genuinely be described as a transitional period at all, rather than as no more than a duplicitous prolongation of the original state.

    1. Bert Young
      September 6, 2017

      Denis , What a convoluted reply !

  33. Ed Mahony
    September 6, 2017

    Well done to Jacob Rees-Mogg for opposing gay marriage and abortion on TV. Whatever one’s religious views (or not), there’s plenty of evidence to show that gay marriage confuses and stresses children and that abortion causes great distress and unhappiness to women (and men). All of this leads not only to unhappiness but also places a strain on mental health services and social welfare in general as well as affecting people’s performances in the work place.

    1. Ed Mahony
      September 6, 2017

      Although i disagree with Jacob over Europe, supporting family values is a 100 times more important than Europe. Firstly, for practical reasons (unhappy individuals and people affect national health, social services, productivity at work and so on). But above all, for moral reasons (and if you are a believer, then there is also the most important case of how we live affects the Divine blessings we receive or not as a nation, not just as individuals).
      Plus he’s got a good sense of humour and a wit. Lastly, people want politicians who tell the truth (even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything they believe or say). Jacob Rees-Mogg has my vote as next leader of the Conservative Party.

      Reply There is no vacancy and he is not a candidate.

      1. Ed Mahony
        September 6, 2017

        Lots of people will hate Jacob now. But he put his conscience / God before himself. God bless, Jacob.

      2. Glenn Vaughan
        September 6, 2017


        “There is no vacancy and he is not a candidate.”

        There was no vacancy for the leadership of the Conservative Party the last time we had a female Prime Minister. That didn’t stop her getting thrown out of Downing Street.

        I suspect a vacancy will be created long before the next General Election and Mr Rees-Mogg may well be a candidate.

      3. Chris S
        September 7, 2017

        At a stroke, JR-M has cleverly put himself out of contention for leader, possibly even for a cabinet role.

        One cannot argue with his view on abortion or gay marriage, based as they are on sincerely held religious grounds.

        But while he has appeared bemused by Moggmentum and all the talk in the press, it begs the question, why on earth would he want any government job at all !

        He has a huge private income from his own business, a wonderful house in a glorious part of the country, an equally wonderful and large family and the freedom to speak out on any subject.

        I am sure he would hate the pressures and severe restrictions of high office.

        1. Ed Mahony
          September 7, 2017

          Jacob Rees-Mogg reminds me of some slightly eccentric, benign character from Tintin (in good sense, the Vatican recently defined Tintin as a thoroughly ‘Catholic hero’).

          Although I disagree with Rees-Mogg over Europe, he comes across as a very self-assured (in good sense) man who knows exactly what he wants in life and will bring him the most happiness: God, family + the best of traditional British life and values. And a true patriot (with patriotism – love of country – being a Catholic virtue – which the C. of E. borrowed).

          God bless, Jacob.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      September 6, 2017

      Dear Anybody–I unfortunately missed Jacob’s having spoken against gay marriage and am delighted to hear that he has done so. Gay marriage has two words in it, the second of which (which used to be a Sacrament and now is under threat from all sides) has less than nothing to do with the first. My opinion of Jacob (which started high some time back) just goes up and up.

      1. Ed Mahony
        September 7, 2017

        He’s the sort of Catholic that reminds who reminds me that Catholicism is all about the things we all want in life: joy, peace, ordered mind, sense of humour, sense of the beautiful (he reminds me a bit of the aesthetes around the time of Oscar Wilde), as well as a healthy balance between the material (puritans – wrongly – think the material is bad) and spiritual life (and hedonists – wrongly – live only for the material).
        I’m not saying he’s a saint (he may or may not be) but he’s certainly an admirable figure, i think.

    3. MickN
      September 6, 2017

      I cant wait to see what happens when the BBC ask Sadiq Khan the same questions. Actually they wouldn’t dare would they.

    4. Anonymous
      September 6, 2017

      I don’t think he said anything more controversial than marriage is a sacrament of the church and not for politicians to define.

    5. M. Davis
      September 6, 2017

      Hear! Hear!

  34. margaret
    September 6, 2017

    You have briefly mentioned in one reply that the UK will adopt the EU laws and when they are now in our jurisdiction they can be amended if need be . In their present format they cannot be changed , so to provide continuity they will be continued under UK law and not EU law.
    During the debate some of the duller MP’s could not seem to understand this and spoke of still being under EU law. How can we have people representing communities who do not understand this!

    1. hefner
      September 6, 2017

      Another question worth asking could be: how people could elect such MPs?
      Problem is most MPs can hold their rank when talking normative talk but are rather clueless when anything a bit technical comes their way. And common people are simply impressed by the nice talk (or daily blogging) without realising that the King is naked if something a tiny bit outside their political games is thrown to them.

  35. billR
    September 6, 2017

    So according to the leaked draft report on migrants from day one ie. 30th March 2019 the new laws will be in and EU migrants will be largely banished, only those with enough money or high paying jobs will be allowed to stay- these of course will be cherry picked people. Very likely the airports and seaports are going to be very busy too for say the six months prior to this with all of the Poles etc, including the strawberry pickers, returning home to europe and all of the old British retirees returning home to UK. So Starmer and others are not quite correct when talking about transitional arrangement as such a thing will certainly not happen, because for it to happen it would mean the possibility of some future trade deal, and that is not going to happen either- certainly not the way we are heading now. A50 has already been activated and the French especially, who have been very quiet of late, will see to it that there will be no transitional period- they are not going to let us off the hook- and they have been waiting for this one since 1815. So on the evening of the 29th March the scenario is this, the last ferry will sail from Dover, and my guess is that by midnight the ports of Calais Dunquerke etc will become very quiet and that’s the way the french want it. Ryanair and Easyjet will have largely gone, there will be no getting away from A50 and there will be no transitional arrangement as Junker, Verhofstadt, Tusk et al are a determined bunch and although they will not say publically, they have gone into a huddle over this- so it will be all spun out by the media and by the EU side until it is all too late. Then doomsday- time will come. So Liam Fox had better get busy and get the talks going with Japan or the tooth fairy. It’s called taking back control

  36. Peter
    September 6, 2017

    Interesting to see Jacob Rees Mogg interviewed. Topics included gay marriage and abortion. To stray from an ‘authorised’ approach can be political suicide, as Liberal Democrat Tim Farron discovered.

    I thought Rees Mogg handled it well. Stuck to his guns but made the point that his personal view is different to enforcing a party line.

    He will encounter more of the same if does become a leadership contender. This is in addition to the privileged Etonian background questions.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      September 6, 2017

      I thought Rees Mogg handled it well. Stuck to his guns but made the point that his personal view is different to enforcing a party line.

      The same could be said for Jeremy Corbyn and unilateral disarmament or Venezuela.

      Gay marriage and abortion are of less consequence to the majority of the electorate than defence of the realm but the media and the gay and female lobby would have a field day if he attains high office.

      Admirable responses in that he defended his beliefs but he has shot his bolt.

    2. Roy Grainger
      September 6, 2017

      It would be fairer if they put questions on gay marriage and abortion to MPs and candidates in national and local government of all parties of all religions and ethnicities. But they don’t of course.

      1. hefner
        September 7, 2017

        You can get a rather good feeling about what your MP is thinking by having a look at their previous votes on
        JRM was directly asked and directly answered. There are a lot of MPs with similar positions and their votes contribute for better or worse to the society we all live in. It should be the responsibility of all electors (if interested obviously) to check how their own MP votes, on all sorts of topics.

  37. Simon
    September 6, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood;
    Please forgive me if I prefer the legal text which is actually in the bill rather than a grossly simplified and distorted summary; shorn of all analysis; offered by a clearly partisan backbench MP on his private blog.

    The bill contains a range, breadth and depth of extensions to ministerial powers which are absolutely unprecedented in our entire history. As such even devout and fervent Leavers will be entirely right to seek to amend or if necessary oppose it.

    As to your absurd contribution to yesterday’s Brexit statement in the house you know full well that no nation on earth trades on WTO terms alone. And furthermore the WTO does not in fact have any bearing on the vast array of other matters where it is essential we enter into agreements with our nearest and largest neighbours. I give you air travel and aviation matters as a quick example.

    If it is true that the PM is now taking advice and briefings from Dominic Cummings then God help us.

    You may not realise this but I am a fervent leaver as I have been since 1975. The nonsensical approach to Brexit being offered by the ERG and the “Ultras” is quite likely to stop, delay or wreck Brexit completely – not to assist it.

    Reply This rant does not advance the argument. I have dealt with aviation rights, customs agreements and the rest before. Try to understand the Withdrawal Bill which aims to create legal certainty, and is entirely a Parliamentary process which Parliament can and will control as it sees fit.

    1. Simon
      September 7, 2017

      If this bill passes then Parliament will have no further control over virtually any aspect of Brexit at all. All powers will be passed to the Government. (Limited exceptions obviously). This is completely contrary to the very notion of regaining our parliamentary sovereignty. It also comes at a time when trust, confidence and belief in governments of all parties is at an all time low in any event. Although there is a time limit of two years on many of the powers therein it is in that two year period that most of the institutional and legal structures which will be our bedrock for generations to come are going to be decided. The Art 50 Supreme Court Appeal demonstrated quite clearly that the first and enduring tendency of the PM is to avoid parliamentary scrutiny of any sort wherever possible. It is absolutely right that this bill – as proposed by the Lords – should not pass in its present form. “Trust and follow me me Theresa” was dead and buried at the general election and rightly so. She is now on a knife edge.

      1. NickC
        September 7, 2017

        Simon, The EU Withdrawal Bill simply transfers existing EU Regulations into domestic UK law, instead of those laws “residing” in Brussels where they would be no use to us after 31 March 2019. This is for regulatory continuity with the least work.

        The whole purpose is not to make new law. Many EU Regulations may be amended to refer to relevant UK bodies rather than the EU. A few laws will change more because they do not make sense when we’re out of the EU. There is no intent to remove any rights and obligations. There is no time to do any more anyway. Your fears are unnecessary.

        1. Simon Coleman
          September 8, 2017

          The point is that Statutory Instruments have been misused by governments, especially this one and the Coalition. They bypass parliamentary debate and can make major changes to legislation. Mr Redwood is complacent about their use being technical only. The government’s attempt seize control of parliamentary committee selection shows just how undemocratic the Brexit process could be.

          Reply SIs have been misused throughout our membership of the EU to drive through their vast new laws without extensive debate and consideration. This will change as a result of this Bill, when in future all important changes of law will require primary legislation.

    2. Simon Coleman
      September 8, 2017

      Yes, totally agree. Mr Redwood and co care believe that car-crashing the UK economy is a price worth paying for getting those ‘nasty’ eurocrats and ECJ off our backs. As for Brexit returning democracy to our parliament, well, where do we begin? Henry VIII powers, 1000 statutory instruments and the bribing of a tiny Northern Irish party to force through measures. No parliamentary majority and no mandate for a hard Brexit…because May specifically asked for one when she called the election. Result: lost majority = lost mandate. No, actually……..there never was a mandate for a hard Brexit!

      Reply There is no such thing as a hard Brexit. We have no intention of crashing the car, unlike those who believe in the full EU who were very happy to crash our car in the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

  38. Tad Davison
    September 6, 2017

    Chris Leslie and Chris Bryant take note – people who should know better!

    It is truly astounding how these people conveniently overlook the significance of our hitherto subservience and loss of democracy to the EU, then have the gall to call this piece of necessary legislation ‘undemocratic’. Labour might have imposed a three-line whip next Monday, but I know some who plan to defy it and good on them I say. Let’s just hope the likes of Clarke, Burt, Grieve and Soubry vote with the government.

    Tad Davison


    1. nigel seymour
      September 7, 2017

      Agree. This is almost as mind boggling as Article 50! It is a matter of fact that the opposition need to hold gov to account but in this instance they are starting to smell the opportunity to stall Brexit and ‘gauge’ public opinion re ref result. On a point of today’s and Monday’s debate, I tend to get somewhat tired of listening to the same questions being asked time and time again. Perhaps it is time for MP’s questions to be ‘bunched’ e.g “Will the SOS confirm if a FT deal will be in place before March 2019” “Will the SOS confirm that UK will be looking to remain in the IM and CU when we leave the EU”…

  39. Prigger
    September 6, 2017

    I see the media are showing certain individuals from the medical payrises..poorly done to etc etc. Lots of percentages mentioned by them regarding pay. Personally my salary has always without exception been paid to me in pounds.
    They never show a payslip. I don’t wonder why. I know. They would lose public support.They are clever enough to know it too.But not clever enough to get any more of my tax. Off you go to Australia! Stop threatening, just go!!!

  40. Ken Moore
    September 6, 2017

    I admire the conviction to which Dr Redwood holds his opinions on the EU – for if he is wrong the consequences could be very severe.

    We know that Richard North offers a forensic analysis of the EU in his blog and has written several books on the matter. His opinion is wildly different from Dr Redwoods in relation to the WTO option. Not a man to ignore.

    Dr Redwood would also have to have reconciled that Dunkirk, with a capacity of 5,000 consignments a year, enlarged from the original 1,000 at a cost of €2 million, it is part of a recently completed upgrade of the ferry port, costing €14.88 million. And yet, the facilities would be woefully inadequate for the post-Brexit traffic from the UK, where there will be customs checks and veterinary inspections on UK goods for the first time since 1992.

    Secondly, Dr Redwood must have familiarised himself with the hoops that ‘third countries’ have to jump through in order to deal with the complexity of exporting into the Eu. There is an 8 page form to fill in for starters…
    I presumed he has read and understood this fully and concluded that such complexity would not prove a problem…

    Then the potential exporter need to check if a license is needed..

    Where are the plans to emulate the EU agencies that govern medicines, aircraft maintenance and a whole raft of other issues?.

    Basically Dr Redwood is saying WTO is a viable option to fall back on should the talks fail. North says this is fantasy. I don’t know who is correct as I would need to spend many many hours studying the details……I just hope Dr Redwood has spotted something that Dr North hasn’t ?

    or it can trade with us under World Trade Organisation rules, which we know works fine for us because that is what we do with the rest of the world”.

  41. Javk snell
    September 6, 2017

    All very well but a lot of businesses including farming and the veg and fruit growers rely very much on these eastern european types to work for them especially at times of harvest..i can’t see young english people getti g out into the fields and doing this work.
    Then there are the hotels and shops, house building construction and other related..that will need more than architects. I havn’t heard a word yet either about the extra accommodation that will be required for the UK seniors returning home from Spain, because we can be sure if wr expel hundreds of thousands of EU there will be an opposite action from the EU side. Problem is that these old retirees will find it hard to stay in Spain because they will not have any medical cover and the job to offload their apartments at a good price is going to be don’t know where tnis is all going to end.

  42. jackH
    September 6, 2017

    Barnier and the EU crowd will burn your ass. If anyone thinks that the EU side will sit back and accept this attack on EU citizens including being finger printed- if anyone thinks the EU is going to accept this without there being serious repercussions they are sadly mistaken

  43. C
    September 6, 2017

    John, off topic, but yet again….

    Can you PLEASE, PLEASE (!) ask the Gov to STOP using absolutely idiotic spin-masters!!

    They totally messed up the last election (as predicted) and yet, they are being allowed to approach big business (who generally don’t want to leave the SM) to ask them for backing via an open letter…


    My 15 year old Daughter is better at this stuff than the Govt. for Gods Sake, make them stop!!!!!

    This type of media message DOES NOT work in 2017 (with apologies for screamingly loud capitals, but really???)

  44. PaulDirac
    September 6, 2017

    JR – please ask your researchers to produce a list of the use of these instruments, the so called Henry VIII powers, during the last say 25 years.
    Divine them into the periods of each PM and government, this will show up the folly of insisting these are dangerous powers, since obviously they were continuously used without any ill effect.

    Reply I do not have a researcher.

  45. Terry
    September 6, 2017

    It is now clear that the EU has been surreptitiously evolving over the past decades, into the planned European Super State.
    Us oldies now know we were conned by the despicable Ted Heath into signing away the future of our Independent Britain. However, Brexit now releases this country from that disastrous referendum result and its consequential dire obligations set in 1975.
    The fact that our own elected MPs in Parliament, now serve merely as a nodding shop for the hierarchy of Brussels was warning enough that British democracy had been crushed.
    Given the events over the past 18 months, along with the phoney fear factors spread by the enemies of British democracy, no other reason to leave that decrepit cabal is necessary. We wanted our country back!
    This country, in fact, weakened, if not destroyed itself as a world power when it entered WW2 to defend the right of ALL Europe to be independent of a dictatorship. At all costs to us..

    Brexit will never ever cost Britain the same as did the World Wars but sadly, there are those here who still say those sacrifices are ‘irrelevant’ to 2017. They cannot be true Brits.
    They disgust me because, not learning from history makes for a very troublesome and more than unsavoury future or even worse!
    What I cannot understand from some MPs is that they are still happy in their current job, to just tick EU boxes when and where they are told to tick. Subservience to the EU obviously pays well!
    Such people should never ever be allowed into British Parliament. The mother of ALL Parliaments and the very foundation of democracy in the modern world.

    Now, Britain is to go back – to being its own boss and to enter a very bright future. Rock and Roll on Britannia!

  46. VotedOut
    September 6, 2017

    The proposed legislation makes a reasonable case for the use of extended powers to ensure all EU referenced laws are brought cleanly into UK law. In the white paper this was outlined in the introduction. I assume that most of the MP’s who object to this Bill have not read it. Indeed most MP’s argued about eliminating the budget deficit for many months without ever knowing exactly what a deficit was as apart from a debt! So we know things can be a challenge for some …

    It is also important to realize one fact that may be a surprise to concerned MP’s looking to block the Bill. Namely, any abuse of power will be answerable to The People at the next general election. The fact that accountability has now returned to the UK must be a bit of a shock for most MP’s. Gone is the blame the EU mantra and ‘we can do nothing’ excuse.

    There is a double standard from MP’s in recent weeks (Mr Redwood excepted!). MP’s may refer to Burke’s famous speech to the Bristol electors as an excuse to ‘think for themselves’ and argue for remain. But when most MP’s are asked for a view on a policy, they invariable ‘run to nurse’ and ask what the ‘party line’ is.

    The ‘party line’ from the referendum is clearly to leave the EU.

    Most of us here plebs would just like our elite down there to please get on with it!

  47. Jason wells
    September 6, 2017

    For anyone who doesn’t know the word ‘tory’ comes from the old irish gaelic word toraidhe meaning higwayman or robber, 17th century, so i am not at all surprised that the modern day tories would wish to repatriate the EU laws and powers back from europe and put them in place for their very own use. It’s called taking back control for themselves..a kind of modern day robbery

  48. MikeP
    September 7, 2017

    John I imagine you are underwhelmed at best by this morning’s (Thursday’s) BBC News coverage then, complete with Henry VIII cartoons, on the wide-ranging powers that the Withdrawal Bill grants the Government. Such shoddy, one-sided, scare-mongering, Labour-supporting journalism isn’t worthy of any broadcaster, let alone one that I pay taxes for.

  49. Simon Coleman
    September 7, 2017

    As you know, there has been a huge explosion in SIs since the Coalition came to power and they have been misused on many occasions – e.g. George Osborne’s attempt to force through more than £4bn-worth of tax credit cuts. It’s just plain wrong to suggest that they’re just about tidying up.

  50. Martin C
    September 8, 2017

    I cant help thinking that the government has underestimated the opposition and is not thinking tactically. You have to understand the sincerity and passion with which pro-EU sentiments are held by the remainers in government. I have heard the likes of Sir Keir Starmer and Hillary Benn saying they accept and will abide by the referendum decision on the telly, but you have to realise they are lying. They would overturn the referendum decision like a shot, if only they could.
    The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill gives them plenty to cavill at, but actually what they really, really want to block at all costs is the very first sentence of it, where it says the European Communities Act 1972 will cease to apply after 29th March 2019.
    Therefore, tactically, there should have been two bills. Firstly the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which should be a very simple one-liner, stating utterly uneqivocally that the European Communities 1972 Act will be repealed, revoked, and struck from the statute on 29th March 2019. And thats it, nothing whatever else to cavill at. Let Labour vote that down at their peril.
    Secondly the Continuity of Legislation Post-Brexit bill, this would incorporate the EU legislation onto our statute and provide sufficient Henry VIII powers to rephraise it for our use outside the EU while maintaining its form and function. Stripped of the role of actually taking us out of the EU, it becomes a lot less controversial and much harder to complain about, as it will obviously be necessary on 30th March 2019.

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