Next Thursday, 7th September, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will receive its second reading in the House of Commons. The Bill will be further debated and voted upon on the following Monday 11th September.
This Bill, also referred to as the Great Repeal Bill, will formally repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert existing EU law into UK law. It will also create the necessary temporary powers to correct laws that no longer operate appropriately. The Bill will ensure there are no gaps in our statute books once we leave the EU and will ensure, as far as possible, that the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as the day before. After this it will be for the UK to adapt our laws as we see fit and this will be carried out in Westminster or in the devolved administrations in Belfast, Edinburgh or Cardiff.
This Bill is not about the ‘exit deal’ that the UK receives from the EU; nor is it about our future trading relationship with the EU or the rest of the world. These important issues are part of the ongoing negotiations taking place in Brussels between David Davis and Michel Barnier. The Bill will enable Brexit to take place and implement the outcome of the referendum last year.
It is entirely right for the bill to be scrutinised and debated, it should not however be used as an opportunity for some to derail Brexit. Whatever the outcome of the current negotiations, Brexit will happen and this piece of legislation is essential to ensure our departure from the EU is as smooth as possible.