Government Sets out White Paper on Brexit ‘Great Repeal Bill’

Great Repeal Bill
Dan Kitwood/Getty

The British Government will set out a White Paper on the upcoming Great Repeal Bill, which will establish a legal framework for the United Kingdom to emerge out of the European Union’s jurisdiction as a fully sovereign democracy.

The bill repeals the European Communities Act 1972 – the act which allows EU law to be applied in the United Kingdom, overruling all other forms of domestic legislation.

It will also incorporate the entire body of EU law – the so-called acquis communautaire – into UK law, so that Parliament can “amend, repeal and improve” it at its leisure.

Speaking ahead of the white paper, Brexit secretary David Davis said the Great Repeal was about taking back control.

“At the heart of the referendum decision was sovereignty. A strong, independent country needs control of its own laws. That process starts now.

“Converting EU law into UK law, and ending the supremacy of lawmakers in Brussels, is an important step in giving businesses, workers and consumers the certainty they need.

“And it will mean that as we seek a comprehensive new economic partnership with the EU, our allies will know that we start from a position where we have the same standards and rules.”

Brexit campaigners have been concerned that the Government, led by and largely comprised of politicians who backed Remain in the EU referendum, will sell the country out on certain key issues, such as immigration and fishing, in the upcoming UK/EU negotiations.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think [Prime Minister Theresa May] is up to it,” wrote Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage on 6 March. “She can talk the talk with tough speeches but when it comes to walking the walk she has failed before and I fear she will fail again.”

For the former UKIP supremo, the “three key areas of negotiation where we must draw our lines in the sand [are] immigration, financial contributions post-Brexit and Britain’s fishing territory”.

Farage has expressed concerned at “the talk and speculation that if the UK is to have access to the Single Market, then we must accept the Free Movement of People”.

For the former UKIP chief, “anything less than full and fair immigration controls would be nothing short of a total betrayal”.

Farage also highlighted the importance of Britain regaining full control over its fishing grounds, surrendered to the EU as a “common resource” in the 1970s, costing over a hundred thousand jobs.

“This once great industry has been left to rot since we joined the EU,” he wrote. “Now is the time to grab this golden opportunity and rejuvenate and revive our fishing fleets.”

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery


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