What are they up to now…? Guess!

The People’s Challenge on GoFundMe

You cannot be serious, man!

You may not have been able to listen to the Commons debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill last Thursday and Monday.

The speeches are available online. Some of them esp. Kier Starmer, Ken Clarke and Hilary Benn are really worth hearing.

The Government is seeking powers (“Henry VIII powers”) well beyond those it really needs, as a number of Honourable Members explained.

If the Bill granting those powers is passed, the Government could make other moves far beyond those necessary to leave the EU.

The Government could even use these powers to change the terms of the Withdrawal Bill itself without referring to Parliament. And let’s not forget that today’s Government could be gone tomorrow, so personal assurances by current incumbents about “come and see me” are worth absolutely nothing.

David Davis wants these “Henry VIII” powers to act without going back to Parliament again. They are supposedly to allow him, as Secretary of State, not only to “fill in the gaps” that are a consequence of the complex process of leaving the EU but also to make changes “wherever necessary”.

And why are they seeking powers of this enormous scope? Because the Government does not have a clue about what those gaps may be and what will be necessary.

Or do they want these powers in order to turn the UK into a low taxation, low regulation “Singapore off the coast of the EU”?

Theresa May has been committed to “Brexit is Brexit” since June 2016. As of September 2017, it is “clear” (a favourite word of hers) that neither she nor her ministers know the extent of what needs to be done.

And so the Secretary of State wants to be granted the power to do “whatever is necessary” (i.e. whatever TM and her Government haven’t yet got a clue about) without parliamentary scrutiny.

“We don’t know what we’re doing, but let us do it unsupervised anyway”.

How is this the UK’s Sovereign Parliament “Taking Back Control”? The Government is seeking to reserve powers to a Cabinet Minister, not to Parliament!

As we and our co-litigants successfully insisted over the triggering of Article 50: as we are doing this, we must do it properly, with our Sovereign Parliament in control.

We must not let Parliament be bypassed – whatever your political standpoint, giving a Government unfettered control is retrograde, undemocratic and very dangerous to boot!

Parliament has voted to approve the second reading, which means there will next be a committee stage before it comes back to Parliament.

This is the opportunity for the bill to be closely examined, for the Government to be closely questioned about why such wide-ranging powers should be necessary and how their use would be limited, aside from the “personal assurance” nonsense (see above) being bandied about in the House during the debate.

And just one more thing: accession to the EU, and treaties amending the EU (Maastricht, Lisbon etc.), were debated in the House for around 20 days. The government proposes that the incredibly important and complex issue of leaving the EU, which they themselves manifestly don’t understand, be allocated just 8 days for debate.

I suggest to you that the Government doesn’t learn from its past mistakes, a very worrying thing in itself. I believe it is in bulldozer mode again, seeking to push this measure through before MPs and their constituents (i.e. the British people) have had a proper opportunity to consider the ramifications and engage in the debate.

Please contact your MP and leave him/her in no doubt of your opinion about this attempted power grab, and the reasons behind it. Parliamentary democracy is hugely important and must not be given away, especially into such ignorant and irresponsible hands.

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