Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill cleared its first hurdle in the House of Commons on Friday, with the legislation reportedly “Gina Miller proofed” to stop non-elected EU loyalists from interfering in the democratic will of the people.
Members of Parliament have voted 358 to 234 in favour of the second reading of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, with a majority of 124.
The bill is a notable departure from the exit legislation put forward by former Prime Minister Theresa May. Mrs May had included a number of “Soft Brexit” clauses that aimed to appease Labour when she oversaw a minority government that, even when propped up by Northern Ireland’s Brexit-supporting Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), had only a thin and often illusory majority in the House of Commons.
New measures in the bill include legally prohibiting the government from delaying Brexit any further by extending the transition period, which puts No Deal back on the table if the EU will not accept a mutually agreeable trade deal.
The bill also restores the primacy of Britain’s courts over EU judges, by giving lower courts the ability to overrule European Court of Justice decisions that have been transposed into British law.
The bill also removes a number of May’s Brexit-frustrating paragraphs, such as: removing a requirement for MPs to have a vote on negotiating objectives; a requirement for negotiation updates presented to the House of Commons every three months; and parliamentary votes to approve or reject a final deal or to extend the transition period.
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Two removed clauses have provoked the ire of the leftists and liberal-progressives in the Opposition: one on workers’ rights, which will be covered in a separate bill, and one on supposed “child refugees”.
Prime Minister May had put a provision in her bill which would force the UK to do a deal with the EU on bringing over minor migrants in Europe who claim to have relatives in Britain. This has now been changed by Boris’s government whereby the government will just give a statement about minor migrants to MPs in the Commons.
The issue of migrants, particularly coming from Calais in France, claiming to be underage and having a right to come to the United Kingdom for familial reasons has been a controversial issue since the 2016 migrant crisis, when alleged-minors of Middle Eastern origin arriving from France appeared to be adults.
In 2018, the government’s immigration watchdog revealed that two-thirds of “child refugees” questioned about their age were found to be adults. In one high-profile case, pupils at Stoke High School in Ipswich shared pictures on social media of their “15-year-old” classmate — an asylum seeker who appeared to be in his thirties. He was pulled out of the school and reported to the Home Office.
Tests Reveal 'Child Migrant', 17, Is Actually 47 Years Old https://t.co/7JsW7MbwPT
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After passing through the House of Commons, the bill will move on for further scrutiny in the Remainer-dominated House of Lords, with the government aiming for it to become law by the exit deadline of January 31st.
Lawmakers may attempt to add amendments to undo some of these clauses. However, that would be difficult given that Prime Minister Johnson has working majority of 87 (his 80-seat electoral majority is increased in practical terms by the fact that seven Sinn Fein MPs will not take up their seats in the House of Commons).
The bill has also reportedly been framed so that it is impervious to anti-Brexit campaigners launching legal action to stop Brexit or force a soft Brexit, in other words: ‘Gina Miller-proofing’ it.
A government source told The Telegraph: “We know that legal complainers will use any kind of legal means in challenges that might try to get in the way of Brexit and, as with any piece of legislation, we have stripped out anything that might have made us a hostage to fortune.
“Gina Miller is committed to overturning Government decisions in the courts and we are not leaving anything to chance.”
'Privileged' Gina Miller grew up with Communist dictator Fidel Castro coming to her house "to debate social justice" https://t.co/Yqh7liGNYi
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