Amending the EU Withdrawal Bill

Much has happened this week; and you may think most of what you have heard has been bad. But this is far from the full picture!

Read on to see how you can help Represent Us fight to keep our EU options open, and maintain Parliamentary control….

In its current form the EU withdrawal bill is indeed a monstrosity that represents the biggest power grab by a government in modern political history. It is a badly worded, open-ended Enabling Act allowing the government to do pretty much whatever it wants to virtually anything that is covered by current European legislation without Parliament’s permission – including altering the Act itself!

It would also allow the government to walk out of talks and then take us out of the European Union with no trade deal and no alternative arrangements in place on a ministerial whim. So it is pretty awful.

But the thing to remember at this point is that it has NOT been passed; and most of Parliament – including a significant number of Conservatives – are fully aware of how awful the bill is and have explicitly said that they will not pass it in its current form.

The vote on Monday was merely the second reading – a stage where Parliament is effectively saying “do we need a law on this subject”? On that question, it is hard to say no if you are planning to leave the European Union; and that is why it was passed at that stage.

The next stage is key because this is where the bill can be amended to make it reasonable. Many – including some very significant Conservatives such as the former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, have put down amendments to address all of the issues that you will be concerned about. This includes stipulating that there must be an Act of Parliament approving the terms of the UK’s exit. They have also said that they will NOT support the bill unless it is amended.

The initial vote on these amendments will probably be in October. In that time we should all be campaigning and lobbying our MPs to support these amendments so that the government stays accountable and Parliament has the final say on any deal or on leaving without a deal.

That’s what we should be doing and it is what Represent Us is now campaigning for. Please join us to help ensure that Parliament retains control and we will send you more details of how best you can help.