Theresa May faces and wins yet another vote of no confidence after the historical loss in Parliament on her Brexit deal, this got me thinking, what is the deal with Brexit? On the 23 June 2016, the UK held a Referendum to decide whether to leave or stay in the EU. The results were quite close with the majority winning with 51.9% voting to leave and 48.1% voting to Remain.
This result led to the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister and in stepped the Second Iron Lady, Theresa May. Honestly, whether you like her or not, you ought to realise she’s got resilience. But that’s another post for another day. What I aim to discuss is the aftermath of this referendum, the changes that are going to occur and how it may or may not impact our day to day lives.
Almost immediately after the results were in, the value of the pound dropped and as time went on businesses began to move out of the UK due to the uncertainty of how things were going to be. Like me, I just wanted to know what it meant for my travels, because your girl did not pay all that money to naturalise to then start paying for visas. We now know that at least, EU citizens already living in the UK, as well as UK citizens living in the UK, can carry on as ‘normal’. Now for the more technical stuff.
The Repeal Bill
This is also known as The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This act lays down the plans on how the divorce is going to take place and for anyone who has been paying attention to Brexit it is obvious and almost sadly comical how messy the divorce proceedings are going. The Bill repeals the 1972 European Communities Act, which took Britain into the EU and meant that EU Law took precedence over laws in the UK Parliament, as well as ending the Power of the European Court of Justice in the UK. What has this got to do with you? Somehow all the EU Law needs to be copied into the UK law so that we can have a smooth transition after Brexit and avoid a “black hole in the statute book” as the government puts it. Once this is done they can, later on, take the time to amend, repeal or improve individual laws as necessary.
Here Comes HENRY VIII POWER
This is a lot more complicated and will require a longer post to go into the nitty gritty of it all. But one thing that I noticed which really led me to write this post is that, since this Statute is probably one of the largest ever, the government seeks to enact the so-called Henry VIII Power to enable them to deal with other laws through delegated legislation. #
Delegated Legislation is when a Statute (An Act by Parliament) gives discretion to executives (MPs) to create policies, so they are secondary. For example, the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 was put in place by Lord Chancellor under Section 42 (1) (The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, s41) with the intention of introducing earlier settlements, transfer cost burden from taxpayers to ‘users’ and reduce unmeritorious claims. So prior to 2013, employees were able to take employment cases to both tribunals for free, but since the Lord Chancellor was given discretion/power by the act mentioned earlier he introduced fee payment. Luckily this policy has been deemed unlawful and removed by the Supreme Court recently as Unison challenged it. It’s a case known as R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor  UKSC 51 if you want to know more. I hope you can understand that this will enable MPs (executives) to create new policies which will not be given the same scrutiny as Acts are normally given. They have of course mentioned that nothing will be done hastily but with the government that we have now, do we have trust?
Why should we know this?
I know all of this may seem a lot and you may not know how it impacts us directly on our day to day lives, but laws are changing, some more drastically than others. Usually, the average citizen may not be well informed on the ins and outs of politics until they cross paths with it. I think it is important for us to have at least a general overview of what is going on with the government because our voice matters and we cannot speak up for change if we do not know what is going on.
Lastly, I want to emphasise that not all things about Brexit are negative. Ultimately the vote to leave was influenced by the UK citizens wanting to have the freedom to decide for their own country as mentioned earlier, while in the EU, the UK Law must always be compatible with the EU which is not always in the best interest of the country or citizens. Let us hope that whatever the Prime Minister comes up with on Monday is significantly better than her first try.