Monday, October 03, 2016

Theresa May triggers Brexit - by ensuring all EU law is embedded in UK law?

Remarks on Theresa May's recent speech on Brexit to the Conservative Party conference by Professor Thom Brooks, Head of Durham Law School:

·         We’re still no further forward about what ‘Brexit’ means.

·         PM Theresa May has set a deadline for triggering Article 50 by the end of March 2017. But this assumes she can pull the trigger without the consent of Parliament  – and this is hotly contested and will be decided by the courts.

·         Leaving the EU does not mean leaving behind EU laws. May’s new Great Repeal Bill actually keeps all EU laws currently recognised in UK law. The big change is that it opens the door to the repeal of EU laws over time.

·         This is likely to take many years – not only to do a trade deal with the EU, but to select which of the thousands of EU regulations we will keep, which we will amend and which we will reject. This is a revolution that will come no sooner than “in due course” – and it will test the patience of many a Brexiteer.

·         May’s speech made plain her wish that government ministers make executive decisions about EU rules, but this is likely to be challenged by Parliament with fierce resistance.

·         If ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and leaving the EU, the Great Reform Bill will have Brexit mean the UK still having all EU laws – for now and the near future until a plan is on offer. We still seem no closer to that.

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