On the week that MPs begin debating the the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, Thompsons Solicitors’ chief executive Stephen Cavalier explains why the Bill is so dangerous
The government's approach to Brexit is incoherent and inconsistent. It has not set out a clear and achievable negotiating position. It gives contradictory messages on the Single Market. Its proposals on the Customs Union have been met with derision. The Tory government is more concerned with keeping together the fragile coalition within its backbenchers and in its costly pact with the DUP than achieving a Brexit deal that secures a viable future for the UK.
UK workers and trade unions are rightly worried by this. It represents a threat to the economy and to jobs. And the government's planned legislation offers no guarantees of rights at work or health and safety into the future. The government has consistently opposed Labour party Bills and amendments to enshrine protection for workers' rights now, and in the future.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is a dangerous piece of proposed legislation. It gives ministers sweeping powers to make, or amend, laws with immense scope and without adequate parliamentary scrutiny.
"The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is a dangerous piece of proposed legislation. It gives ministers sweeping powers to make, or amend, laws with immense scope and without adequate parliamentary scrutiny."
It means that employment rights will not keep pace with future EU developments, nor will they be interpreted in line with decisions of the European Court of Justice after exit day. And general EU law principles can no longer be used to strike down post-Brexit laws, leaving the government free to dilute, or even remove, discrimination laws by capping compensation or limiting back pay for equal pay.
The prime minister's absurd insistence that the removal of the European Court of Justice from any role on UK cases is a "red line", prevents the negotiation of a sensible exit deal. It also leads the EU (Withdrawal) Bill into legal contortions that have even been criticised by the head of the Supreme Court. They make no sense and will lead to confusion and chaos.
We live in uncertain times. No-one can be sure what Brexit will mean but our new Brexit Briefing can help in guiding readers on the issues and the current state of the Brexit process.
Thompsons Solicitors’ September 2017 Brexit Briefing can be downloaded here.