May and Davis Call For Unity As Key EU Bill Comes To Parliament
Theresa May faces a tough battle in getting the EU (Withdrawal) Bill through parliament after Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats all confirmed that they will be instructing their MP’s to vote against the bill. If even a small number of Conservative MP’s join the rebels then Mrs. May could see her narrow majority in danger.
Lawyers have described the Bill, which Jeremy Corbyn has ordered Labour MPs to vote against, as the biggest change in the UK’s legal system for 45 years.
Opponents, including some pro-Remain Tory MPs, claim it is a power grab by the Government.
But the Prime Minister, who will be on the Government’s front bench for the debate, says it is about delivering Brexit.
“The Repeal Bill helps deliver the outcome the British people voted for by ending the role of the EU in UK law, but it’s also the single most important step we can take to prevent a cliff-edge for people and businesses, because it provides legal certainty,” she said.
The 66-page Bill is dominated by three major measures:
:: Repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, the legislation which took Britain into the Common Market
:: Transfer of EU laws into UK law so they continue to apply after Brexit
:: Giving ministers the power to change old EU laws once they are part of UK law
Opening the Commons debate, which concludes with a vote next Monday, the Brexit Secretary will promise to work with MPs as well as welcoming scrutiny and debate on the Bill at its second reading and then in its committee stage.
“In bringing forward this Bill, we are ensuring the smoothest possible exit from the EU – an exit that enables the continued stability of the UK’s legal system, and maximises certainty for business, consumers and individuals across the UK,” Mr Davis will say.
“We are not rejecting EU law, but embracing the work done between member states in over 40 years of membership and using that solid foundation to build on in the future, once we return to being masters of our own laws.
“I hope everyone in this House recognises this Bill’s essential nature – it is the foundation upon which we will legislate for years to come – and I look forward to working with the whole House to deliver the Bill.”
It is the third part of the Bill, a so-called Henry VIII clause, that has prompted Mr Corbyn and his shadow cabinet to confirm that Labour MPs will be ordered to vote against it at second reading.
First Minister of State Damian Green said the bill did not amount to a power grab but rather was an essential tool to put the referendum result into effect and ensure continuity after decades of EU integration.
He told Sky News he expected the Bill to get a “huge amount of support” from Tory MPs.
“I’d be surprised if Conservatives didn’t overwhelmingly support this Bill because it is hugely important, it is central – this is the Bill that actually puts into effect the referendum results.”
Westmonster Dave is the News Editor of Kipper Central.