Apologies but I just don’t understand this

Theresa May faces the prospect of a humiliating Commons defeat on her ‘great repeal bill’ after Labour said their MPs would not back it unless she made sweeping changes.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said last night he was putting the Prime Minister ‘on notice’ of the changes he said needed to be made, including on workers’ rights and parliamentary scrutiny.

I don’t actually understand what he’s saying.

The words he’s using, we must make sure rights remain in UK law etc. OK, I don’t agree, but I understand that. This bill moves all current rights into UK law. For as we repeal the European Communities Act those enacted under EU law will no longer apply. So, as far as I can see, the bill is doing exactly what he wants it to be doing. It’s enacting in UK law those EU rights so that they remain. It all comes later when we discuss which will stay in UK law, that’s not part of this bill.

So what actually is it that he’s complaining about?

Please note, this isn’t rhetoric or anything from me. I’m genuinely mystified. Anyone?

18 thoughts on “Apologies but I just don’t understand this”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    AIUI some of the wording will have to be changed to fit our system, including reference to ECJ, and there is concern that they will use that to change the meaning and remove protections.

  2. I assume because it’s called the Great Repeal Bill most people will automatically assume its purpose is to remove EU rights leaving people with nothing. Labour therefore come out against this. It doesn’t matter that this is incorrect. If someone points this out they just deflect and say something about must safeguard rights no matter what.

    The mistake is to think facts matter. They don’t. Demonstrating that you are taking the hardest line on something is what matters even to the point of ignoring the facts.

  3. If the bill is defeated, and the UK leaves — and that is already in motion — then all those EU rights will be legally suspect.

    May should be “defeated”.

  4. Jamesg hits the nail. Post truth is something that people apply to Trump but in truth it would appear to be applying to almost everything.

    This morning on R4 today exactly the same discussion as everyday.
    NR “Why are you not changing course? People say X”.
    Minister “Facts are A, B, C therefore no course change.”
    NR”Ah but you are not listening to your opponents criticisms!”
    Minister “Facts are A, B, C therefore no course change.”
    NR “but they say we are all going to die of cancer because we leave Euratom”
    Minister “Facts are A, B, C therefore no course change.”

    At no stage does anyone test facts. Same thing yesterday but in reverse on the topic of the Paris Agreement.
    Interviewee “it was ratified by the US therefore 4 year wait”
    Presenter “oh that’s so interesting”
    Interviewee “Won’t apply from 2020 but next president can just sign back up”
    Presenter “oh that’s so interesting”

    No facts go challenged from the left. No chance to prove the right are not engaging emotionally is missed. At no point is the listener left wiser or better informed.

    Into this background steps Kier Starmer, former DPP!, and continues the post truth journey.

  5. Starmer is scum and was a major figure in the Operation Yewtree cult. Which should tell all about his regard for truth.

    As for ZaNu support it isn’t needed.

  6. The amusing thing to me is that should the shockingly mistitled great repeal bill fail then on leaving we automatically repeal a lot of EU legislation. Sure plan A , to incorporate the lot and then sift through it at leisure provides for a smooth exit.
    But repealing the lot and then forcing Parliament to re-enact the useful bits will likely leave us with less unnecessary laws.
    I think Labour are taking advantage of the stupid title to fool some people into thinking that they oppose Brexit, where in fact they don’t.

  7. Mr Ecks – agreed. He is also as ferociously ambitious as he is ruthless so I think we can safely assume that anything he says or does is mostly to do with positioning himself for when JC gives up the ghost,

  8. Presumably Labour want to amend the bill to shovel in their own pork-barrel items?

    Soon they’ll have to rename it The Great Repeal And Social Care And HS3 And Nationalisation Of BOAC Bill.

  9. Rarely do MPs read the legislation they are about to enact.

    vide. The entire Parliament when Brown abolished the 10p tax rate.

    Look at Podge who voted on some 20 Taxes Acts to pass them, then spent her life objecting to them.

  10. Wouldn’t she be at greater risk of “a humiliating Commons defeat” if the DUP weren’t playing ball? In any event, don’t past events suggest that there’ll just be a bit of compromise before it goes through?

    The newspapers are pretty desperate for a scoop at the moment. Everything is an imminent disaster. It’s not restful.

  11. Here’s a good point to make….

    The pro EU’ers had no problem with Parliament not scrutinising these laws and regulations when they were being actually written. But are now all upset about how they may be copied over into UK law.

  12. Social Justice Warrior

    To answer Tim’s question: my understanding is that the Repeal Bill as published does not transfer the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to UK law. Keir Starmer would be concerned in particular about the section on workers’ rights.

  13. The Meissen Bison

    On the EUCFR, this is informative and helpful.

    Tangentially, Keir Starmer would be concerned in particular with making mischief.

  14. I thought the EUCFR was only a consolidated statement of stuff that was already in existing EU legislation, thus it does not bring anything fundamentally new to the table

  15. The broad answer to Tim’s question is clearly set out in the Government’s White Paper (Para 1.14):

    “Simply incorporating EU law into UK law is not enough, however. A significant amount of EU-derived law, even when converted into domestic law, will not achieve its desired legal effect in the UK once we have left the EU. For example, legislation may refer to the involvement of an EU institution or be predicated on UK membership of, or access to, an EU regime or system. Once we have left the EU, this legislation will no longer work. Government must act to ensure that the domestic statute book continues to function once we have left the EU.”

    The Government’s proposed solution is to grant itself new powers to “change the statute book where necessary” – i.e. to amend UK legislation without full Parliamentary scrutiny. This is one of Kier Starmer’s key objections, and he lists a number of areas which he believes are too important to be subject only to statutory instruments – the so-called “Henry VIII powers” – and he wants these to be specifically addressed before the Repeal Bill is passed. If they are not, then Labour will not support the Bill in its present form.

    The Scottish and Welsh nationalists have a related concern, which is that the Great Repeal Bill will return powers from Brussels solely to the UK Government and Parliament in connection with “devolved matters”, agriculture and fisheries in particular, which are currently overseen by the devolved administrations. They want this to be sorted out before the Bill is passed and not afterwards as the Government is proposing. In short, their core principle is the same as Labour’s, though their specifics are different.

    Hope this helps.

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