Blog: UK Government's power grab on EU Withdrawal Bill

January 23, 2018 ,

Over the past few weeks I have had hundreds of emails lobbying me to take various positions on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Many of the emails I have received have suggested that by voting against the Bill I am either refusing to accept the Referendum result or on the other side of the coin that this bill is not doing enough to stop Brexit. However this Bill is about either of those things. Put bluntly this Bill is about the Government putting huge and unaccountable power into the hands of government ministers, side-lining Parliament and the devolved administrations on key decisions and putting crucial rights and protections at risk. Far from bringing back control to Parliament, it would result in a power-grab for UK Ministers. 

The Bill risks eroding basic human rights and could prevent a transitional deal on the same basic terms we currently enjoy – including within the single market and customs union, as well as undermining powers that already are in place for our National Assembly. I voted in favour of amendments that would protect those rights. 

I voted against a fixed date of exit from the EU as we have absolutely no certainty from the Government as to the nature of any deal on the EU and on any transitional arrangements that may be in place.

As I have stated before I voted and campaigned for a remain vote and I also voted against the triggering of Article 50, and I have not changed my view on the consequences of leaving the EU. The full article from the time explaining my view can be found here.

The Government with its DUP helpers voted against all reasonable amendments. We were able to defeat the Government on one vote which guaranteed that Parliament will get a vote on the terms of how we leave the EU. Due to their unreasonable intransigence I voted against the whole Bill at its Third Reading.

As the Bill enters the Lords where the Government and DUP does not have a majority I hope we will see amendments to the Bill.