John Baron MP says 1972 EU Act is biggest ‘Henry VIII’ clause in history

September 11, 2017

MP supports Government in EU Withdrawal Bill votes

John Baron MP will tonight be supporting the Government as the EU Withdrawal Bill faces its first Commons test. The legislation is an essential part of the Brexit process, repealing the 1972 Act which took us into the EU and incorporating existing EU law into UK domestic law. This ensures a smooth transition for individuals and businesses, as it will provide legal continuity after we leave the EU. However, unlike existing EU law, over the coming years these laws can be changed, amended and repealed as Parliament wishes.

Labour and some other Opposition parties have chosen to oppose the Withdrawal Bill by claiming the use of so-called ‘Henry VIII’ clauses, which can allow the Government to make certain changes without Parliamentary approval, amounts to a power-grab by the Government. Yet these clauses are a normal part of legislation, were used when we joined the EU, can be repealed by Parliament, and are time-limited in the Bill.

John said,

“As a committed Brexiteer, I look forward to supporting the Withdrawal Bill tonight. It is an important part of leaving the EU, repealing the original Act which took us into the EU. This removes the supremacy of EU law over UK law, and returns control of our laws to Westminster. This is what over 17 million people voted for in last year’s referendum.”

“Those remainers who are opposing the Withdrawal Bill on the grounds of ‘Henry VIII’ clauses are very recent converts to the importance of Parliamentary sovereignty. The 1972 Act is arguably the biggest ‘Henry VIII’ clause in history, as it provides for the supremacy of EU law, and the scale of the legislation shows the extent to which EU law has overtaken our domestic law since we joined.”

“A crucial difference is any measure in the Withdrawal Bill can be changed by subsequent votes in Parliament, unlike EU law or treaties which national parliaments are powerless to change. This is why I will be supporting the Government tonight, and opposing attempts to delay or water down Brexit.”

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