Today’s letters take up the EU negotiations, referring to the Queen’s Speech. The first letter is by our legal correspondent, ‘A Roving Reporter’:
With the Queen’s Speech coming up today, it is time to revisit what the last government wrongly called the Great Repeal Bill. It will be recalled that the only change which the Release causes is that all EU Regulations vanish; so to preserve the status quo in the immediate aftermath it is necessary to put them all back.
What must be repealed this year, and as soon as possible, of course, is the ECA 1972. The only other matter that the Bill needs to address is the issue of the ECJ.
The text below should do the trick:
TEXT FOR EUROPEAN LEGISLATION BILL
- The European Communities Act 1972 is repealed.
- Any Regulation directly applicable in the law of the United Kingdom by virtue of Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which ceases to be so directly applicable on the release of the United Kingdom from the Treaties pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is hereby replaced in the law of the United Kingdom as from that time.
- The Government shall have power by statutory instrument after the United Kingdom is released from the Treaties pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to make any consequential amendment to any element of European Union law in United Kingdom law deemed administratively necessary by the Government.
4.Upon the UK being released from the Treaties pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty the ECJ shall cease to have any jurisdiction in the UK.
- Decisions of the ECJ made prior to the said release of the UK from the Treaties shall continue to have effect in the UK only insofar as such effect may be necessary and appropriate with regard to the then subsisting subject matter of each Decision from time to time.
Respectfully, Roving Reporter
The next letter is by our reader Septimus Octavius, remarking on the Brussels Brexit Negotiations:
What on earth were they talking about in Brussels for 6 hours? According to reports,the Irish border and the reciprocal rights of citizens were agreed to have priority. The Irish border should stay just like it is – see my advice as to how easy it is to do this:
“As I have mentioned to you previously, there is a simple solution to the issue of the post-Brexit Irish border, and this is to leave it exactly as it is.
There would be a huge team of immigration officers on the mainland checking all entrants from Ireland, North or South; however, at each station there would be a fast track for citizens of Northern Ireland. This would be made possible by the expedient of issuing British passports to all those citizens.” (Quote from my letter to the PM.)
This plan might oil the wheels in talks with the DUP, by the way.
Reciprocal rights of citizens just need to be simply agreed, there is nothing remotely complex about it. That could all have been dealt with and finalised in less than 5 minutes. What seems to have occupied the time was an argument about a compromise on the proposed EU timetable, and it is no surprise that we lost. It is very much in the interests of the EU to spin the talks out for as long as possible, as every week we pay them a net sum of £161 million. The time has come to deliver an ultimatum.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
Today’s last letter, from our reader S.A.Jay, takes a poignant look back at how London and indeed our country has changed – the more poignant since security measures will now be even stringent due to that ‘March of Rage’ the Left have called for today’s Opening of Parliament:
Hardly more than fifty years ago, I worked in Downing Street for six weeks, being taught the skills of a ‘Departmental Lady’ at the Foreign Office – the term ‘Secretary’ was already taken for much higher positions – before being sent to a British Embassy abroad. I was as proud as a peacock!
Every morning I took the underground to Westminster and then, with the Houses of Parliament on my left, I turned into Parliament Street. After the Cenotaph, I crossed the road and, along with many other workers and even tourists taking a shortcut to and from St James’ Park, I walked into Downing Street.
Just walked into Downing Street!
A few yards along, on the right hand side, was No. 10, Number Ten Downing Street, the best-known address in the world. And standing outside was a police constable. Just one police constable, smart uniform and helmet, polished buttons, hands behind his back, feet apart. No gun.
From the left hand side of the road, I would often wave and with a smile, he would nod back. Then I turned into the magnificent Foreign Office building, immensely proud. This was my London, this was my Government, this was my England.
And now, hardly fifty years later – a mere moment in our history – Downing Street, along with so much more, has changed.
Following an IRA mortar attack on No.10 in 1991, gates were placed at both ends of Downing Street with a guardhouse and several uniformed police. Who now carry guns. Then frequent riots outside of the gates began and in 2011 for a short while, armed soldiers were brought in to guard No.10. Last month, May 2017, as yet more demonstrators poured along Whitehall and Parliament Street following the Islamist attack in Manchester, the Army was brought in again, this time to guard not only No.10 but even Buckingham Palace.
How could this have happened to my London, my Government, my country in so short a time?
Respectfully, S.A. Jay