The Queen’s Speech contained a raft of Brexit bills that will determine control of the trade agenda for the foreseeable future, the most important of which is probably the Great Repeal Bill, which will replace European with British law. Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, described it as:
“a power grab – a sweeping constitutional rewrite carried out by a government with the slimmest possible majority, without any political consensus, and with important checks and balances missing from key pieces of legislation. If they get through, these bills risk undermining the rights and protections of the British people and redefining the role this country plays in the world for the worst. We call on MPs of all parties to ensure this government is held to account, first and foremost by amending or rejecting the Great Repeal Bill, which poses the gravest risks to our rights.
“EU law incorporates some of our most cherished protections and rights, as well as rules that, for instance, prevent our government from selling products that can be used in torture overseas. Giving Theresa May the powers of a renaissance monarch to translate these rights and protections into British law is terrifying, as it enables her government to change the way these laws work in fundamental ways, without parliamentary scrutiny. We need enhanced, not reduced, democratic oversight of this process. If parliament cannot achieve this scrutiny, we urge it to vote down the whole Great Repeal Bill.”
Global Justice Now and Another Europe Is Possible have released a briefing paper on the dangers of the Bill, which reads like the TTIP agenda, all over again.
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Other important Brexit bills include the Trade Bill itself and the Immigration Bill. The speech also recognises that control of agricultural policy will return to the UK, though it is not clear how much Parliamentary oversight the Government wishes to permit.
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