This week’s events clearly show the dangers the UK faces, dangers that go far beyond the immediate one of a disorganised and ill thought-through move for the UK to leave the European Union.
For months now the Govt. has been attempting to bypass Parliament. Even if the Govt. is not in contempt of Parliament it is clearly contemptuous of Parliament’s sovereignty and authority.
This is the spectre floating above the UK. It’s not Brexit, but something far more sinister. It threatens to sideline and usurp our elected representatives’ power to protect and serve us. It is a threat to our Parliament and to democracy in the UK.
It now appears that David Davis, the Secretary for Exiting the EU, has been playing fast and loose with what he says to Parliament. A dangerous game.
The sectoral impact statements have been released and they are not what Parliament ordered or what Parliament was promised.
Something that was supposed to be akin to Gone with the Wind turns out to be an abridged version of a Morecombe and Wise Christmas special (with apologies to Eric & Ernie). But some of us have long suspected this was going to be the case.
In the Withdrawal bill, the Govt. is seeking to reserve a dangerous amount of power to its ministers (the so-called “Henry VIII powers”, perhaps better described as “Henry VIII super-powers” in this instance) for matters that have traditionally been way outside its power to decide on.
The other draft Brexit bill that has been published (the Trade bill) seeks the same freedom of action for the Govt. without the usual involvement of Parliament.
And so the Govt’s compulsive secrecy and power-grabbing fever goes ever onward.
It does not intend for Parliament to vote meaningfully on Brexit; it does not intend for Parliament to supervise and control the legislation it chooses to implement to deal with the post-Brexit situation; it does not intend to give Parliament a running commentary on what’s really going on with Brexit; it does not intend to disclose to Parliament the whole truth about what Brexit means for the UK.
Some of our MPs have been on the case for some time now, and are to be commended for being at the forefront of this issue from the beginning. And now it seems that MPs across the party political spectrum and also the pro/anti-Brexit divide are uniting in their concern about what’s going on.
One of the fiercest critics of the Govt’s latest shenanigans has been that most Eurosceptic of Tories, Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Parliament clearly has the will to stand up for itself and for the good of the country by demonstrating that the Govt. is subject to Parliament’s authority. It is prepared to exercise that authority on our behalf to rein in the Govt. In doing so, it needs and deserves our support.
Now we must all put our collective shoulder to the wheel.
MPs are elected by their constituents, and members of both Houses swear an oath to act in the best interest of the country. These are the people who run the country on behalf of its citizens, not an appointed executive, and especially not a PM who was the only remaining candidate for the post.
Please ask your MP what their position is on getting the Govt. under control by eliminating dangerous and unnecessary delegated powers (Henry VIII powers) and insisting on an Act of Parliament to implement whatever the result of the negotiations is.
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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.