Attention has been focused on the EU Withdrawal Bill which to my mind is a necessary step on delivering on the referendum result and helps to ensure the UK exits the EU with certainty, continuity and control. Without it, the UK’s statute book would contain huge gaps once we leave the EU, and there would also be major uncertainty about the meaning of many existing laws.
However, I understand why people are concerned about this bill. People voted to take back control. To be faithful to democracy this means control brought back to a sovereign parliament not to government in Whitehall. There is a need to strike the right balance. We must bring an end to direct role of the EU in UK law whilst delivering the smooth exit people demand. We must avoid the cliff-edge the media often refers to and this is done by transferring laws and providing legal continuity which the EU Withdrawal Bill does. However, there is need to have proper scrutiny.
One reason why I was in favour of the UK leaving the EU was to see a return to legislation created by elected representatives in Britain not unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. The Withdrawal Bill bring powers back to Britain but only as far as Whitehall. In their defence Ministers have made it clear that powers taken by Government through the EU Withdrawal Bill are ‘time-limited’ and are only to apply for a limited period after the UK leaves the EU. MPs will use the committee stage of the legislative programme to ensure this is the case and to ensure full parliamentary process.
I want to extend a big thank you to the organisations and everyone who attended the Health and Wellbeing Fairs that took place over the weekend. They seemed a great success and I know people were able to find out about fresh sources of help available to them as we approach the winter months.
This Autumn, for the fourth year running (I started these prior to my election in 2015), I am hosting drop-in events across West Cornwall. These started last weekend and carry right through to November.