But what if the status of the 1972 Act was outside Parliament’s hands?
That’s a topical question because Parliament is just about to be asked to agree to repeal the 1972 Act in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
The very first clause of that Bill says:
The European Communities Act 1972 is repealed on exit day.
And “exit day” is defined as “such day as a Minister of the Crown may by regulations appoint.”
Yep, that’s right. The government is proposing that a Minister gets to decide when our membership of the EU ends. And to make that decision without any Parliamentary control at all. None, zip, nada.
The consequence of Parliament agreeing to this clause is stark.
If talks do break down, it will be a Minister of the Crown – Boris Johnson, say – who has absolute unfettered discretion as to how to react. Parliament – our sovereign and democratically elected Parliament – will be completely sidelined from the most important decision our nation has made in recent times.
Giving unfettered power to a Minister, marginalising our Parliament, in respect of such an important decision is the very opposite of taking back control.
Parliament must vote against clause one.
You do recall all of his protests about regulations and directives flowing from Brussels, to be enacted, variously, either by mandate or SI? Yes? You do recall all of his protests about that?