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Brexit position paper on pending ECJ cases published

14 Juillet 2017

The bill repeals the 1972 European Communities Act which formalised the UK's membership of the EU and allowed European law to take precedence over legislation passed by United Kingdom lawmakers.

"I'll be working with fellow MPs to table amendments to the Repeal Bill, specifically in order to force the Government to ensure that environmental laws are properly enforced as we go through the Brexit process".

Labour has demanded the bill includes full protection of British workers' rights and is looking to stop the Government gaining "Henry VIII powers".

Separate legislation will be needed to cover areas such as fishing, farming and immigration, he said, with a series of further Bills in these areas also likely to require legislative consent from the devolved administrations.

"This Bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control", he said in a statement. Aside from the large number of medicines produced in the UK and destined for EU-wide distribution, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) makes a significant contribution to the current operations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) - soon to move from its London base to an EU-27 home - and its withdrawal could hit capacity at the EU regulator. Existing EU laws will be transposed into United Kingdom law, although some will be tweaked to ensure that they are still coherent after Brexit.

The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron warned the United Kingdom government "you should be under no illusion, this will be hell" in getting the bill through Parliament.

Peter Grant MP, the SNP's Europe spokesperson, said: "Since the European Union referendum over a year ago and the recent general election it has become clear that this a Tory government that operates on glib and grubby deals".

"Opposition parties are also bound to be very wary of the proposed exercise by ministers, and, where applicable, the devolved institutions, of regulation making powers to re-write laws, albeit subject to approval by the relevant legislature".

Therefore the bill states they will all need to be translated into domestic law so they still apply at the point at which Britain leaves the EU. He repeated his unilateral offer of citizens' rights for European Union nationals living in the United Kingdom after Brexit, and also pledged that Labour would continue to respect the Paris climate change agreement rather than cut a "sweetheart deal" with the US.

The powers are temporary, expiring two years after Brexit day.

Opposition politicians are plotting to unite with rebels in Mrs May's Conservative Party to rewrite the legislation.

That is scheduled to be in March 2019.

As the bill was published, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was in Brussels to offer his own Brexit vision to European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

"The broad powers that the Repeal Bill grants ministers to change our laws are dangerously vague - they must not be used to roll back human rights that are in place to protect us all". Given the mechanisms for parliamentary scrutiny, they should be engaging with MPs as well as Ministers and should take a coordinated, rather than item by item, approach to ensure the most effective engagement.

Brexit position paper on pending ECJ cases published