Today’s letters all address Brexit, criticising various aspects of the way Theresa May’s government is dealing with the negotiations both in Brussels and here at home. The first letter comes from our correspondent Septimus Octavius:
There are a couple of snags with the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, both relating to precise timing and careful wording.
There is a provision in the bill giving the government power, when specifying a day it has power so to do, to specify also a time on that day.
The key such date in the bill is the “exit date”, when, in particular, the ECA 1972 is repealed. It will be recalled that so important is this aspect of the matter that the bill is still referred to quite often as the “Repeal Bill”.
The administrative amendments enabling provisions (the “Henry VIII powers”) come into effect, however, when the bill becomes law; and the only time limit in the bill for these is that they cannot be exercised at any time after two years after the exit date. The trouble with this is that they cannot lawfully be exercised until the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU, which occurs either as the clock chimes midnight in Brussels on 28 March 2019, or on the finalising (by a decision of the European Parliament) of a formal Article 50 Agreement at any time before that moment.
It is to be hoped most fervently that there is some close connection between the “exit date” and that moment of Release, but there is absolutely nothing in the bill itself to justify any such hope. It is a simple matter to rectify the “Henry VIII powers” by stipulating that they come into effect at the moment of Release, but there is nothing in the bill to indicate such an intention.
The other point, of course, is the ECA 1972. It will be recalled that this statute can in fact be repealed like any other statute. All it does is to incorporate Treaties of the EU automatically into UK law. It has been doing that for 43 years; the only way we escape is by the Release. What it does not do is “incorporate EU law into UK law”, but unfortunately that is how 100% of politicians and journalists choose to describe it. The ideal would be for the bill to effect the repeal on its coming into law, as it serves no useful purpose now.
The danger, however, relates to this point of precise timing. The Release from the Treaties will occur at a specified millisecond. If, God forbid, the ECA1972 was still in force then, it would promptly reinstate all those Treaties straight back into UK law!
So, please, all you in Parliament, have regard to this matter of precise timing, and take great care that the thing works properly when it eventually gets enacted.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
The second letter is from Jane Collins MEP who is a candidate in the current leadership elections:
a £30bn Brexit Bill is “daylight robbery.” Who is in charge of coming up with these numbers? Dick Turpin? We have funded the EU slush fund for years, with taxpayers money keeping European farmers from growing crops and keeping our food prices high, multiple buildings for the European Parliament because one is never enough when it’s not your money you’re spending along with roads in Poland and ‘ghost’ airports in Spain and Greece.
If the EU insist on playing silly buggers with these Brexit negotiations I suggest the Department for International Trade gets out there and starts making the deals which will actually benefit the country.
Respectfully, Jane Collins MEP
The next letter addresses the same subject of ‘divorce payments’. It is from our correspondent Biscotte:
Divorce payment? I don’t get it. I don’t see anything in Article 50 about a separation payment. It cannot even be implied in the short few paragraphs of the Article. Just as we started paying into the Common Market black hole from day one, we should stop paying on the last day. The Common Market gave us nothing to join, and hence it should follow that there is no cost in leaving.
Naïveté, maybe . . . but UKIP is missing a trick here.
It was widely reported in the press and media Wednesday 30 August 2017 that British Officials gave EU officials a three-hour PowerPoint presentation with 23 slides, as the UK demolished the EU demands on the Brexit bill. This was based on an accompanying 11-page small font document.
The bottom line was ‘preparation on the final settlement was inadequate’ (to the barely concealed fury of EU negotiators).
Surprised that it does not seem to have been recorded on film, I have spent time looking for this presentation to no avail. No point looking to the BBC, ITV or Sky for this. But we all know that.
If UKIP were to get hold of a copy of this ppt and the accompanying handout, it could be referenced and shoved up the nose of the MSM and presented to anyone who wants to hear, by UKIP members. If a copy is available it should be put up on UKIP Daily pages for all to see. After all, UKIP is committed to get us out, and this should include preventing a massive financial handout to the dying united states of Europe.
In short, an opportunity to do something positive. Need to keep the eye on the ball. OK, don’t forget who should be king or queen of the castle, but where is this presentation promoted? And 70 pct say £30,000 million unacceptable: https://youtu.be/yu94yLZ6c8I
Finally, Ceri Jayes has set up her second Petition, demanding all halal and kosher meat to be labelled with method of production and slaughter. Please sign and hand the petition around: