Lords warn: EU Bill is not fit for purpose

Labour Party

The EU Withdrawal Bill is not fit for purpose the House of Lords Constitution Committee has warned.

Members of the Committee described the Bill as “fundamentally flawed” and said it needs to be re written in several ways.

Despite having already been voted through the House of Commons, it will be subject to vociferous debate this Tuesday and Wednesday when it reaches the Lords.

The Committee understands the scale and complexity of the task in a way that David Davis, who is in fact the Brexit Secretary, just does not get. While he busies himself with nervous laughter and doing little else, the Lords cross party committee has focussed on its brief and properly scrutinised the detail of the Bill, and concluded that: “It risks fundamentally undermining legal certainty in a number of ways.”

Some of the criticisms of the Bill include the proposal to create a category of “retained EU law”, with peers stating it may cause uncertainty and ambiguity.

In addition, certain regulations will be able to be changed without granting Parliament scrutiny – and instead the relevant minister will be able to make a judgement call of their own, using Henry VIII powers.

And the emergency procedure for short term changes is “unacceptably wide”, the committee of Lords said.

It also acknowledged a big concern was what would happen in the vent of failing to secure an agreement with the Scottish Government and Welsh Administration about the devolution of powers (which are to be returned from Brussels). This would obviously lead to further constitutional repercussions.

Labour Peers are expected to be supporting around 20 amendments to the Bill and with the support of Lib Dem peers and other crossbench peers it has a real chance of defeat in the Lords.

To fully register their anger and dismay over the Bill as it currently stands, pro remain Peers will vote in favour of a motion of regret that the public is not getting another say over Brexit.