Tag Archives: EU Withdrawal Bill

Brextremist Dorries gets perhaps the hardest put-down yet

Nadine Dorries and Anna Soubry have been at loggerheads since the amendment vote on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

Bearing in mind that Nadine Dorries might as well have set the dogs on Tories who backed the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill demanding a vote on the final deal, the following seems the least she deserves.

First, she tweeted:

And this is what she received in return:

And that opened a different can of worms…:

Some people should think before making comments in public.

None more so than Mad Nad.


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Who says the Tories’ anti-democratic changes to Parliament are legal? We need a judicial review

Theresa May (left) with Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP. These two think they have stitched up democracy; let’s see what the courts think of that [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images].

Let’s have a judicial review on the minority Tory government’s decisions to give itself the power to alter primary legislation without votes in Parliament, and to stuff public bill committees with Conservatives in order to control the debates.

Remember when the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013, which retrospectively legalised the Tory/Liberal Democrat Coalition’s actions in forcing benefit claimants to do unpaid work, was ruled illegal after a judicial review?

That legislation had been passed after the rules forcing claimants to stack shelves for companies like Poundland had been ruled inadmissible by a previous judicial review.

There are other examples of judicial reviews showing up Tory legislation as failing to meet the required standard.

So why not examine the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the same way, if it is passed into law? How about examining the vote on committee membership now?

It seems to This Writer that any decision by Parliament to disregard the democratic will of the people by granting one political party over-representation on public bill committees must be wrong in law.

And a decision to allow ministers to change primary legislation – laws that had to be voted onto the statute book by MPs – using statutory instruments must also be in breach.

Let a judge decide.


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Tories demand changes to Brexit Bill in line with Labour’s demands – after supporting it at the vote

MPs voted on the European Union (withdrawal) bill at midnight [Image: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images].

Read through the changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill proposed by Dominic Grieve, John Penrose and others, and you will see that they agree with Labour’s reasoned amendment to it.

But they voted down that amendment. Why? Spite?

It seems to This Writer that they simply couldn’t bear to admit that the Bill is no damn good and should be rejected, to be replaced by one that supports the fundamental principles of democracy that the UK brought into the world, rather than scrapping them.

Look at the Labour amendment:

“This House respects the EU referendum result and recognises that the UK will leave the EU, believes that insisting on proper scrutiny of this Bill and its proposed powers is the responsibility of this sovereign Parliament, recognises the need for considered and effective legislation to preserve EU-derived rights, protections and regulations in UK law as the UK leaves the EU but declines to give a Second Reading to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill because the Bill fails to protect and reassert the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty by handing sweeping powers to Government Ministers allowing them to bypass Parliament on key decisions, allows for rights and protections to be reduced or removed through secondary legislation without any meaningful or guaranteed Parliamentary scrutiny, fails to include a presumption of devolution which would allow effective transfer of devolved competencies coming back from the EU to the devolved administrations and makes unnecessary and unjustified alterations to the devolution settlements, fails to provide certainty that rights and protections will be enforced as effectively in the future as they are at present, risks weakening human rights protections by failing to transpose the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law, provides no mechanism for ensuring that the UK does not lag behind the EU in workplace protections and environmental standards in the future and prevents the UK implementing strong transitional arrangements on the same basic terms we currently enjoy, including remaining within a customs union and within the Single Market.”

The Tories agree with most of that.

Of course democracy was undermined by the decision of seven Labour MPs – Ronnie Campbell, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, John Mann, Dennis Skinner and Graham Stringer – to back the Bill, claiming that it is the will of the people. Caroline Flint abstained for the same reason.

It is not the will of the people. It was never our will to throw away democracy and let Tory ministers jigger with our rights and protections to suit themselves.

But that’s what Theresa May wants us all to think. Have you heard what she said about the vote?

She called it a “historic decision to back the will of the British people” and said the vote would give clarity and certainty through the Brexit process.

Tripe.

With discussion now to be based on a deeply flawed and fundamentally dictatorial piece of legislation, anybody arguing for democracy will have an extremely difficult time of it, especially with “party within the Tory party” the European Research Group supporting the switch to dictatorship.

The vast majority of UK citizens will have absolutely no right to say anything about what happens next. We just have to watch as, instead of returning democracy to the UK, the Tories hand it over to a tiny number of their own people.

Because this is what we wanted. Right?

Conservative MPs have warned Theresa May that their support for her government’s Brexit legislation is not unconditional, as they demanded significant changes to the EU withdrawal bill within minutes of backing it.

Parliament’s post-midnight vote resulted in the prime minister facing no rebellion from within her party, as the government secured a victory of 326 to 290.

Significantly, the former attorney general Dominic Grieve teamed up with his Tory colleague John Penrose, to warn against a power grab by ministers through so-called Henry VIII powers.

Penrose argues that he and Grieve want two key changes to the bill. First they are calling for a joint committee of the Lords and Commons to scrutinise the government’s planned use of the new powers, which could force parliamentary debates in the few cases where it was thought necessary.

They also want to limit the “wriggle room which ministers are given” during the process.

Grieve also planned to lay down other amendments including calling for a further bill to be required after MPs know what the Brexit deal looks like before this legislation can actually be enacted. He also criticised the removal of safeguards for people or businesses adversely affected by the application of EU law.

Meanwhile, the Brexiter Edward Leigh argued for the government to take a magnanimous approach on Brexit, both inside parliament and towards European allies and to the demands of Scottish politicians.

He said that Brexit supporters had long argued for parliamentary sovereignty called on May to be generous with amendments.

Source: Brexit bill: senior Conservatives warn May after vote for second reading | Politics | The Guardian


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Dismal day for democracy as Commons supports #ToryPowerGrab Bill

Theresa May is laughing at you, because she is one step closer to eliminating your rights, as enshrined in EU law.

The House of Commons has supported a Bill to throw away democracy and let a minority Conservative government tinker with the laws that protect our rights.

The result of 326 votes to 290 against – a majority of 36 – was a huge majority in favour of the EU Withdrawal Bill for a government that, on paper, shouldn’t be able to get anything through.

We can assume that the DUP has helped, despite the question mark hanging over the Tory bribe of £1 (£1.5?) billion to the far-right Northern Irish party.

But there is also the question of Labour turncoats who supported the Bill, claiming that they were following the will of the people after the EU referendum. In fact, they are doing nothing of the sort.

If the Bill had been defeated, the government would have had to devise a new one – perhaps one that considered democracy the better way, rather than the dictatorship being pushed at us now.

This is only the Second Reading of the Bill, and it should be remembered that detailed discussions are to follow in the Committee Stage, that may see amendments being made that could change all our minds. But will they?

The list showing how MPs voted has not been published at the time of writing. When it is, I’ll try to publish it here.

I would strongly urge anybody who believes in democracy to check how your MP voted and, if they supported the Bill, contact them and demand to know why they are trying to turn the Mother of Parliaments into the Mother of Dictatorships.

And publicise their answers in the local press and on the social media.


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Labour MPs: You are voting against the EU Withdrawal Bill because it insults democracy, not because of Brexit

Didn’t get the memo: Caroline Flint.

As I write this, time is ticking down to the symbolic first vote on Brexit-related legislation – and it seems some MPs and media commentators are trying to stir up dissent among the Labour ranks.

Caroline Flint, a Labour backbencher, has said she will vote with the government on the bill, which aims to remove democracy from any EU-related lawmaking and make it possible for Tory ministers to change or scrap those laws as they please, using secondary legislation.

Perhaps Ms Flint – oh, and Frank Field, apparently – didn’t get the memo. Here’s a handy, Labour-made video to remind them:

Other MPs are lining up to say they’ll vote against this despicable bid to turn the loss of the Tory majority at the general election into a Conservative dictatorship. Here are just a few of their comments:

Any Labour MP who is considering siding with the Tories on this, using the flimsy pretext that it is the only way to support the referendum decision to leave the EU, should reconsider – as should any Conservative, SNP, Liberal Democrat or other MP who values democracy above dictatorship.

They have minutes left to decide.


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The lie that shows Theresa May cannot be trusted with Brexit

Liars: Theresa May (left); Brexit Secretary David Davis (right).

Theresa May and David Davis want us all to accept their word that they won’t use ‘Henry VIII’ powers to rip up the rights of UK citizens if the EU Withdrawal Bill – in its current form – makes it onto the statute book.

But we would be fools to believe her. She can’t even be trusted to be honest about the reasons she thinks she should be allowed these powers.

Mrs May said the House of Lords had endorsed her claim – but the Lords have publicly denounced this as a lie. Here’s The Independent:

Lords have accused Theresa May and David Davis of “selectively” quoting from their inquiry report and claiming it endorsed their Brexit legislation, when actually the study raised major concerns.

Peers on the Constitution Committee said they had in fact called for a “number of key limitations” to be placed on the legislation.

Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Chairman of the Committee, said: “The EU (Withdrawal) Bill represents an extraordinary transfer of legal powers from Parliament to the Government, without the additional oversight we recommended.

“We believe this will create very real difficulties for Parliament in fulfilling its constitutional role to scrutinise this Bill.

“We acknowledge that the Government needs significant powers in order to deliver legal certainty after Brexit. However, we warned the Government that such powers must come with tougher parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms and we are disappointed that we have not only been misquoted by the Government, but that our key recommendations have been ignored.”

It wouldn’t be quite as bad if Mrs May had a record of supporting citizens’ rights – but she doesn’t.

Time and again, the Tory leader has led or voted in favour of draconian attempts to cut down on the rights of working people and their protections against unscrupulous bosses.

That’s according to the Daily Mirror, which provides a handy list of seven such incidents. You can read it here.

If you’re confused about why it’s important, this is the reason:

You can’t trust Theresa May. She must not get these powers.


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