Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, with David Davis holding a press conference with the EU’s Michel Barnier and Theresa May discussing the free market
- Theresa May’s free markets speech – Summary and snap analysis
- Davis/Barnier Brexit talks press conference – Summary and analysis
A House of Lords committee has released a report saying the EU withdrawal bill gives ministers “unacceptably-wide” law making powers. The delegated powers and regulatory reform committee proposes a number of changes to the bill, including proposing that MPs and peers should be able to force a vote on significant secondary legislation being introduced under the bill.
The bill will give ministers so-called Henry VIII powers to amend primary legislation using secondary legislation on matters relating to Brexit. There are different methods of scrutinising secondary legislation in parliament. The most important measures go through the affirmative procedure, which means MPs and peers have to vote in favour for them to become law. But much secondary legislation goes through the negative procedure, which means it automatically becomes law unless either the Commons or Lords votes it down. Since it is up to the government to decide if a vote takes place, negative procedure secondary legislation almost never gets blocked.
The European Union (withdrawal) bill is one of the most important bills in the constitutional history of the UK, and it seeks to confer on ministers an extensive range of powers, unique in peace-time.
We have put forward what we think is a sensible proposal which will enable the government to use secondary legislation to implement the decision to withdraw from the EU whilst ensuring that it is parliament – not the government – which decides the level of scrutiny applied to that legislation.
In an unusual move the CBI and the TUC have issued a joint statement about Brexit. It is about the rights of EU nationals living in the UK. With speculation continuing that the UK could end up leaving the EU with no deal, they are both demanding an assurances that the EU nationals will be allowed to stay regardless of what else is agreed, or not agreed, in Brussels.
In the statement Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, and Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, say:
After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing 4m European and UK citizens has become intolerable.
It is a blight on the values of our nations. Millions of workers and thousands of firms are today united in their call to leaders on both sides to find an urgent solution. A clear guarantee of the right to remain for citizens in both the UK and EU27 is needed within weeks.