Ahead of the Report Stage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords, Wednesday 18th April 2018, PLP has prepared a briefing paper for Peers highlighting our key concerns with the Bill.

PLP takes no position on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Our work around the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is intended to ensure that Brexit is a democratic success and Parliamentary sovereignty is strengthened; to minimise the availability of broad delegated legislative powers and ensure they are used appropriately; and to secure the retention of fundamental rights protections.

The Bill raises a vast number of issues of constitutional importance. PLP’s briefing paper does not attempt to address all of these issues but instead focuses on three areas where our input, informed by our experience in the field of public law, might make the most useful contribution to debate on the Bill.

The paper sets out PLP’s three key concerns with the Bill:

  1. It creates unprecedented and unjustifiably broad powers for Ministers. It empowers Ministers to ‘take back control’, rather than Parliament.
  2. It is far from clear about crucial constitutional questions, including the scope and impact of EU law transposed into our domestic law. This lack of legal certainty undermines the Rule of Law.
  3. Parliamentarians should not rely on Courts to plaster over any legislative gaps or constitutional cracks. The limits of the ordinary public law and the barriers individuals face in pursuing judicial review are such that scrutiny of the Bill by Parliament must ensure that the Bill is fit for purpose.

PLP is a member of the Repeal Bill Alliance which brings together organisations with different focuses working on the Repeal Bill. For more information about the Alliance and to see briefings and reports published by other members, please see https://repealbill.org/about/

For more information about these issues or to discuss the public law issues arising from the Bill, please contact PLP’s Legal Director, Alison Pickup, on a.pickup@publiclawproject.org.uk.

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