The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – otherwise known as the ‘Repeal Bill’ – has passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 326 votes to 290.
However, much of the Bill, particularly the additional powers it gives to UK Ministers rather than Parliament and the removal of the rights under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, has been roundly criticised.
Many organisations are proposing amendments to ensure that different rights are upheld after Brexit. For example, you can read here about a ‘People’s Clause’ amendment which would put the principle of non-regression on rights into the Bill:
In addition, devolved Governments have major concerns about a ‘power grab’ by the UK Government, where all EU retained law would automatically return to Westminster even if it is currently dealt with by devolved administrations. Only at a later stage would there then be discussions about devolving these areas back to Scotland and Wales. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have therefore published amendments to the UK European Union (Withdrawal) Bill that would be needed before they could endorse the legislation.
Both the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments will hold votes on consent for the bill but First Ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones have said this will not be forthcoming unless “hard-fought devolution settlements” are respected.
The Repeal Bill Alliance is a broad and diverse group of organisations from all parts of the UK who have come together to push for the best possible policy outcomes for their organisations and wider civic society as the UK leaves the EU. You can find out more about the Alliance and join their work here: https://repealbill.org/
And don’t forget to come along to ‘Brexit means what?’ workshop in October to ask questions of EU law experts and find out more about how to influence the EU Withdrawal Bill – see here for details: https://hrcscotland.org/2017/09/07/brexit-means-what/
Image credit: Yanni Koutsomitis, Flickr