Ministers are braced for a battle over plans to ditch a swathe of EU laws using ‘Henry VIII’ powers. The government is set to unveil details of the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ this week, part of the formal process of cutting ties with Brussels. The legislation will convert all EU law on to the UK statute books. But ministers also want to be able to adapt the laws as they are repatriated without fuels scrutiny by parliament. Jeremy Corbyn indicated that Labour will oppose the plans today, saying government should not be extending executive powers used by a ‘dictatorial and anti-democratic’ king. The stage will be set for the row on Thursday when the Government publishes its white paper on the Great Repeal Bill. The document is being released the day after Theresa May launches the EU divorce process by triggering Article 50. The Bill will scrap the European Communities Act and transpose EU regulations into domestic law, crucially allowing them to be altered or removed after Brexit.
Tories have warned their leader Theresa May that she faces being “swamped” in years of complex parliamentary and legal wrangling once she triggers the Brexit process. The Conservative MPs and peers that the Prime Minister needs if she wants to make Brexit a reality said they will “maximise any and every opportunity” to ensure her plans do not damage the country. As she pens the letter to send to European Council President Donald Tusk to officially launch Brexit negotiations, many Conservatives urged her to take a conciliatory approach, saying it would also do less to aggravate tensions in the UK. The Tory leader will trigger Article 50 on Wednesday, starting a two-year countdown in which she must seal a deal or face the damaging prospect of dropping out of the EU without a deal.
Labour will vote against any final Brexit deal unless it delivers the “exact same benefits” as the UK enjoys currently within the European Union, Jeremy Corbyn says. Warning of a “huge threat to jobs”, the Labour leader toughened his party’s stance if Theresa May returns from the Brussels negotiations with bad exit terms. Asked if Labour would then “vote against the deal” – despite supporting the triggering of the Article 50 exit clause – Mr Corbyn indicated that it would.
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of trying to “sabotage” Brexit talks that begin this week by setting Theresa May a near-impossible target if she wants Labour’s support for the final deal. The Leader of the Opposition said Labour MPs would only vote for a deal if it guaranteed “unfettered access” to the European market – something that has already been ruled out by the EU. By raising the prospect of a Parliamentary rebellion against the deal Mrs May secures, the Labour leader has given EU member states a stick with which to beat the Prime Minister as she tries to get the best deal for Britain. On Wednesday Mrs May will open the way for two years of negotiations with the EU when she invokes Article 50, the formal process of withdrawing from the EU.
Ministers will be handed the power to change hundreds of laws without full scrutiny from parliament under Theresa May’s Brexit ‘Great Repeal Bill’. The sprawling bill will convert all EU laws into UK legislation, meaning they can be changed after Brexit . The Government is set to publish their plan for the bill on Thursday, the day after the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 . But the bill is likely to grant ministers a time-limited power to change EU laws through the use of so-called Henry VIII clauses. Secondary legislation can be ‘waved through’, often without even being debated in the House of Commons. The Government argues it needs the power as a significant proportion of existing EU law will not work properly without changes being made, so ministers must be given the ability to make “technical” changes quickly.
Labour will oppose any Brexit deal in a House of Commons vote if it does not meet “six tests”. In a significant hardening of Labour’s position, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will outline the tests for the Government and EU leaders to meet. Any deal must offer the “exact same benefits” the UK has from the single market and customs union, and include a strong relationship with the EU, Sir Keir will say in a speech at Chatham House in London later. And he will warn that “failure to meet the tests… will of course affect how Labour votes in the House of Commons”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should be “given a chance” and allowed 15 months to prove he can turn around opinion polls, says union boss Len McCluskey. The general secretary of Unite said Mr Corbyn was being “slaughtered” by the media for putting forward policies to build a “different… better Britain”. He said Mr Corbyn himself would want to look at the party’s direction if there was no change within 15 months. Mr Corbyn says Labour is ready for a general election if one is called. He has twice been elected party leader on a landslide of votes from party members but has faced opposition from many of his own MPs and a mass walkout from his front bench last year.
French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has given her most emphatic speech on the European Union yet, claiming that the bloc will die. Le Pen, who is almost certain to reach the second round run-off for the French Presidency, has promised to take France out of the Euro and push for Frexit, effectively ending the EU project altogether. Speaking at a rally in Lille on Sunday, Le Pen was her most emphatic yet, saying: “The European Union will die because the people do not want it anymore… arrogant and hegemonic empires are destined to perish. “The time has come to defeat globalist.” Though the establishment, as with Brexit and Trump, are still failing to even consider the possibility of her winning, the reality is that the French election is an effective referendum on the future of the EU.
Theresa May will pledge to hand more powers to Scotland and to ensure that Europe remains Britain’s “closest friend and ally” today as she tries to fend off the threat of Scottish independence. The prime minister will come face to face with Nicola Sturgeon for the first time since the first minister announced her intention to hold a second referendum on independence. Downing Street sources said that they hoped for a “constructive” meeting even after the prime minister rejected the SNP leader’s demands. Ms Sturgeon has said that it would be a “democratic outrage” for Mrs May to refuse a new vote.
Theresa May will make it clear to Nicola Sturgeon that Britain will become “a more united nation” outside the EU as the two women meet two days before the formal Brexit process is triggered. The Prime Minister will describe the Union as an “unstoppable force” whose strength will be “even more important” during the Brexit negotiations. The Prime Minister – who will trigger Article 50 on Wednesday – will travel to Glasgow today where she will meet the First Minister and tell her face to face that there will be no new Scottish independence referendum before Brexit. Before that she will address staff at the Department for International Development’s offices in East Kilbride, where she will promise to build “a more united nation” where the interests of the entire Union are “at the heart of” decisions.
Theresa May will today pledge to use Brexit to strengthen the United Kingdom and create a ‘more united nation’. On a visit to Scotland, Mrs May will hold face to face talks with Nicola Sturgeon in which she will reject the Scottish First Minister’s demand for a second independence referendum before Britain leaves the EU. Ahead of triggering Article 50 on Wednesday and the start of Brexit negotiations, Mrs May will pledge to ‘never allow our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart.’ In a speech to civil servants at the Department for International Development in East Kilbride Mrs May will say: ‘We stand on the threshold of a significant moment for Britain as we begin the negotiations that will lead us towards a new partnership with Europe.
Theresa May will meet Nicola Sturgeon for the first time since she blocked Scotland’s bid for a second independence referendum, on a visit today (Monday). The eagerly awaited talks between the two leaders will take place ahead of the Edinburgh Parliament making its formal demand for a poll aimed at breaking up the union. The pair have traded verbal blows since Ms Sturgeon, the SNP First Minister, made her bombshell call for a fresh referendum as early as the autumn of next year. Ms Sturgeon reacted with fury when the Prime Minister insisted it would not be allowed to take place at least until Brexit is completed, in early 2019 on Ms May’s timetable. At one point, she challenged her counterpart to a “face-to-face debate” as an alternative to the two leaders staging TV interviews, saying: “I’d be up for it.”
The prime minister will meet Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland on Monday at the start of the week in which she will trigger Britain’s departure from the EU, and argue that the four nations of the UK represent an “unstoppable force”. Theresa May is to hold talks with the first minister for the first time since Sturgeon demanded a second independence vote in the wake of the EU referendum and for the last time before triggering article 50 on Wednesday. Before the meeting she will make a speech stressing both her global, outward-looking ambitions for the country and her faith in the union. The prime minister will tell staff at the office of the Department for International Development (DfID) in East Kilbride that their work shows how Britain is a “kind and generous country” and that when the nations of the UK work together, “there is no limit to what we can do”.
Labour will oppose plans in the “great repeal bill” to give ministers sweeping powers to rewrite laws with minimal interference from parliament, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader was responding on Sunday to reports that the government will publish a white paper setting out its plans for the bill on Thursday, a day after Theresa May starts the formal process of taking Britain out of the EU by triggering article 50. The white paper will set out how the government intends to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and transplant laws that have force because of the UK’s membership of the EU into domestic law. It is expected that this will involve extensive use of “Henry VIII powers” – laws allowing ministers to change primary legislation (government bills) using secondary legislation (orders that go through parliament with little or no scrutiny).
Talks aimed at restoring Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government have broken down after Sinn Féin said that the party would not be nominating Michelle O’Neill, its leader in Northern Ireland, for the post of deputy first minister. In a statement O’Neill said: “Today we have come to the end of the road.” She was speaking after Sinn Féin said the deadline for a deal on Monday that would secure a new cross-community coalition in Belfast could not be reached. One option for the British and Irish governments who are overseeing the talks would be to hold fresh elections just weeks after the previous electoral contest in March. Another would be to impose direct rule on the region from Westminster.
Sinn Féin believe the current phase of talks to try and rescue devolution in Northern Ireland has “run its course”. This means that any hopes that the devolved institutions could be back up and running any time soon, have been dashed. Northern Ireland has been without a functioning government since January when the former deputy First Minister, the late Martin McGuinness, resigned from the power-sharing Stormont Executive in a row over a green energy scheme. The disagreement focused on a failure by the former First Minister, Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, to put in place effective cost controls when she was in control of another department.