Britain takes major step towards Brexit as Repeal Bill is published

  • Britain takes major step towards Brexit as Repeal Bill is published

Britain takes major step towards Brexit as Repeal Bill is published

This essentially means that key pieces of legislation, including the Ambient Air Quality Directive - which sets legal limits for the emission of air pollutants - will continue to apply until the point at which the United Kingdom government lays fresh legislation in its place.

The government has on Thursday published the bill to "maximize continuity" on the day the United Kingdom effectively withdraws from the European Union wherever it is "practical and sensible".

In a joint statement, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon complained that the bill did not guarantee that powers brought back to Britain from the European Union would be handed down to the regional governments, instead handing them to central government first, with a promise that where appropriate they will be devolved further.

The bill's very first line - "The European Communities Act 1972 is repealed on exit day" - makes clear even the date of departure is now to be left blank.

United Kingdom ministers insist the bill removes no powers from the devolved administrations. But it is convention for central government to seek their approval on legislation that affects them, and if they blocked the legislation it would create significant political problems for the United Kingdom -wide government going forward.

Kennedy added that reverting to old rules would mean fewer flights and fewer frequencies, and that transatlantic joint ventures between European and U.S. airlines would have to end.

Labour is demanding concessions including a guarantee that workers' rights do not fall behind the European Union after Brexit.

The text of the bill states "the Charter of Fundamental Rights is not part of domestic law on or after exit day".

The party's Brexit spokesperson, Kier Starmer, said: "Labour has always been clear that Brexit can not lead to any rolling back of rights and protections".

The government on Thursday published the text of the so-called "Great Repeal Bill", a 66-page, highly technical law meant to surgically transplant European Union rules and rights onto the British statute books, so they survive Brexit.

Corbyn himself is a lifelong Eurosceptic, but the party's Blairite old guard, led by the former prime minister, his chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and the infamous Lord Mandelson, have been determined foes of Brexit and key figures in the "Remain Resistance" since the Leave vote was cast.

These so-called "Henry VIII" powers will be limited for two years, but opposition parties warn they could be used to sneak through policy changes.

Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, said the bill was "simply not fit for objective".

Starmer said he was putting May "on notice" that she must give ground on the bill.

"Labour wants to work with other countries to build a different Europe, one which promotes human rights and environmental protections, celebrates the positive and complementary contributions of European nations, and where trade is fair and sustainable".

"Regrettably, the Bill does not do this". They described the plans as a "naked power-grab" that undermined the principles of devolution.