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news round-up 31.3.17

(Posted on 31/03/17)

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news round-up 31.3.17

The Great Repeal Bill and EU:

Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed that European case law will continue to have a bearing in British court decisions.

Mr Davis described the three key elements of his White Paper into the Great Repeal Bill: repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, converting all EU law into UK law, and giving ministers the ability to tweak laws they wish to get rid of – the so-called Henry VIII powers*.

"For as long as EU-derived law remains on the UK statute book, it is essential there is a common understanding of what that law means,” he said. "The Government believes this is best achieved by providing continuity in how that law is interpreted before and after exit day.

"To maximise certainty therefore, the bill will provide that any question as to the meaning EU law which has been converted to UK law, will be determined in the UK courts by reference to European Court of Justice case law as it exists on the day we leave the European Union.”

In response, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said: "There should be no change to rights and protections without primary legislation - that is a starting and basic principle, and the same goes for policy.

"I add this, when we see the Bill there should be no power to change rights and obligations and protections in the future by delegated legislation. I ask (Mr Davis) to provide assurance on those basic principles this morning, and I ask him to look again at safeguards for the delegated legislation procedures that are proposed.

"This morning we need an assurance from (Mr Davis) that he will face down those on his own side who will not be able to resist the temptation to water these rights and protections down before they're even put into this Bill."

* conferred on King Henry VIII by the Statute of Proclamations, 1539, before most members of the House of Lords and the judiciary were even born.