Tag Archives: Henry VIII

Humiliating Brexit climbdown means Theresa May will be no ‘Henry VIII’

Snake on a plane: Theresa May did not allow Parliament to scrutinise the hundreds of laws that will be affected by the EU Withdrawal Bill because it is her duty; she did it because she was backed into a corner [Image: PA].

This is a victory for democracy – and for once This Writer can commend a Conservative, Charles Walker, for achieving it.

But we must be clear that Mrs May had no intention of allowing democratic scrutiny of her plans for the hundreds of laws that will be affected by the EU Withdrawal Bill, if it becomes an Act of Parliament.

Neither she nor her disgraced and diminishing Cabinet of cronies wanted to admit that Parliament has sovereignty over what becomes law in the United Kingdom – they wanted to dictate it, for their own benefit.

That is why they must be removed.

It is not government – it is gangsterism.

Theresa May launched a humiliating Brexit climb down yesterday(MON) over plans to seize so-called Henry VIII powers.

The Prime Minister caved into MPs’ demands that a committee should be set-up to examine statutory instruments – tools critics say lets the Government dodged scrutiny – made under her flagship Brexit Bill.

She had hoped to drive through plans in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. But, faced with the prospect of an embarrassing Commons defeat on Wednesday over an amendment to the Bill, she decided to back down.

The row surrounds 800 to 1,000 “secondary laws” that will give the government sweeping powers to implement Britain’s withdrawal and “correct” EU-inspired law before March 2019.

Critics say the so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers will allow the government to change the law of the land without scrutiny.

So Parliament’s Procedure Committee, led by Tory Charles Walker, demanded a new body to sift through all the secondary laws.

Today, the government caved in and accepted its demands.

Source: Theresa May launches humiliating Brexit climbdown over plans to seize ‘Henry VIII’ powers – Mirror Online


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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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Everybody who wanted to ‘take back control’ when they voted ‘Leave’ must be feeling sick now

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said his party would try force the Government to give Parliament more control over Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations [Image: Rex].

“Take back control” was the big, banner-riding rallying-cry for Brexiteers everywhere in the run-up to the EU referendum. Did those people have any idea they would actually be handing control to Tory ministers and not to the UK Parliament?

Under the terms of Theresa May’s plans, Conservative cabinet ministers will be able to ditch your hard-won human and working rights without any Parliamentary scrutiny at all.

The response from Labour, as outlined by Keir Starmer, seems to be what This Site and its readers reasoned last week: Support the implementation of Article 50, because that’s what the public demanded, but oppose anti-democratic plans by Theresa May and her government.

This refers to the so-called Great Repeal Bill, rather than the vote on any expected exit agreement Mrs May might make with the EU. The Bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act with which the UK joined the EEC (as it was then known) and enshrine all EU law relevant to the UK into UK law.

Then comes the sticking-point: Tory ministers would then be allowed to ditch anything they didn’t like, using so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers.

Labour will not accept this. Nor should you.

So next time you see someone who told you that Brexit meant “we” would “take back control”, ask them who, exactly, “we” are supposed to be.

Did they mean “we, the people” – or “them – the Tories”?

Labour will not back a vital piece of Theresa May’s Brexit legislation if it contains sweeping powers allowing ministers to scrap vital workers’ rights, human rights and environmental provisions.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer vowed his party would fight Ms May “all the way” if she tried to use Brexit as an opportunity to adopt the so-called “Henry VIII powers”.

The expected move by the Government would render Parliament almost powerless to stop Tory ministers in post-Brexit Britain from dumping rights previously enshrined in EU law.

Because the terms of Theresa May’s Brexit deal will not be known when the legislation is to be passed this summer, the bill is likely to include a “Henry VIII clause” – named after the all-powerful king – allowing ministers to ditch bits of EU law they do not like with little parliamentary scrutiny.

Source: Brexit: Labour vows to reject Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill if it hands ministers powers to dump rights

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Coming soon: criminal sentences for the long-term unemployed?

Jobless criminal: Proposals by the Tory Free Enterprise group would put the clock back to the 16th century, when joblessness was a criminal offence.

According to the Telegraph, that outstanding group of backwards-thinking Tories, the Free Enterprise group, has come up with a new way of turning back time to the Middle Ages.

The group, some of whose luminaries were responsible for the stain on literature known as Britannia Unchained, believe those out of work for more than a year should have their benefits docked by 20 per cent.

Anyone unemployed for more than six months should do 30 hours’ community service and lose 10 per cent of their benefits, they reckon.

Britannia Unchained, you will recall, wrongly suggests that workers in the UK are among the laziest in the world.

Magistrates regularly dish out community service orders to people who have been convicted of criminal offences that may be punishable by imprisonment. These orders are for work totalling not less than 40 hours. I suppose the Free Enterprise zealots think they have cleverly avoided comparisons by limiting their suggestion to 30 hours, but if a person is unemployed for more than a year, under their proposal, they would have to do 60 hours’ unpaid work in the community – well within the amount for criminal offences.

Taking away 20 per cent of a person’s income has never been within a magistrate’s – or a judge’s – powers as fines have always been specific amounts. I would imagine that a judge would consider such a sentence to be an overly cruel and unusual punishment.

The whole proposal is reminiscent of the days – perhaps the Free Enterprisers consider them ‘good old days’ – when unemployment was considered a crime, along with vagrancy. Perhaps we should be happy they don’t want to reintroduce the death penalty for it!

That is exactly what unemployment used to attract. From 1536, the law allowed vagabonds and the jobless to be whipped and hanged. In 1547, a bill was passed that subjected vagrants to some of the more extreme provisions of the criminal law, namely two years servitude and branding with a “V” as the penalty for the first offense and death for the second. During the reign of Henry VIII, as many as 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed.

He was on the throne for a fair amount of time, so he’d probably be impressed by the death toll already racked up by this government among the sick and disabled.

Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood, who part-wrote the report, tried to make it look respectable by saying, “Now is the time for the Conservative party to be brave. We need bold thinking and ideas that reflect the fact that we are the party that believes people should have the freedom to make the decisions about the things that affect them.”

Which people? Not unemployed people, I take it. People like you, Chris?

We know the welfare budget is going to be hit again by the Coalition government – these idiots simply don’t have any other ideas. Comedy Prime Minister David Cameron told Andrew Marr his party would “level” with the public about the need for another £16 billion of spending cuts in 2015-16.

“We have to find these spending reductions and if we want to avoid cuts in things like hospitals and schools, services that we all rely on, we have to look at things like the welfare budget,” he said.

So the Free Enterprise group’s foolishness might soon become government policy.

And don’t be fooled by Cameron’s comments about hospitals and schools. When he says these are services “we all rely on”, he means that he and his cronies are relying on turning them into cash cows from which they can all profit. The hospitals are already being sold off piecemeal to private firms that Tory ministers partly own.