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Ed's Brexit round-up

15th Sep 2017 / By Ed Barker

  • Westminster is now back in full swing, albeit for a short time before recess recommences for each of the party conferences. The most pressing piece of business during the past week has been early voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill. This allows UK Government to take on functions of EU decision making, and transpose EU law on the UK’s statute books. There were notable opponents to some of the votes, in some cases going through narrowly in the House. Most importantly, there were no defeats for the Government, who saw few rebel MPs defying the whip; helped further by Labour rebels who voted with the Government.
  • Many members may have heard that this Bill provides ‘Henry VIII’ powers; this is not a plot to permit multiple divorces in our monarchy but instead relates to the way legislation can be changed. Henry VIII powers, the use of secondary legislation to amend primary legislation, is used all the time and is a way of adding items to legislation where it is required. An example would be adding new dog breeds to the Dangerous Dogs Act. Expect to hear this phrase Henry VIII power used a lot, from both Brexiteers and Remainers!
  • On Wednesday this week, MPs were supporting ‘Back British Farming’ Day in Parliament. Many will have seen the Wheat ear pin badges worn by MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions – with around 180 MPs providing their support.
  • The Chief Exec of HMRC this week told MPs that he was very concerned about the future of Dover to Calais route, adding that with no foreseeable customs arrangement in place, extensive delays could occur on both sides. He added that a new customs checking system would be ready in time, however it would completely depend on the type of agreement the UK negotiates with the EU as to how successful it will be.