The government now proposes to enshrine the date of Brexit in law. This would be wrong and parliament will not approve itby Jolyon Maugham / November 9, 2017 / Leave a comment
On 13th July the government published the EU Withdrawal Bill. And it was immediately clear, to this writer at least, that, even in a Bill widely condemned for stripping power from parliament, there was one feature uglier than the rest: the date of any exit from the EU would not be decided by parliament—but by a minister of the crown.
Later that day, on the electronic pages of this very organ, I wrote:
“on the date of our departure from the EU, the government proposes that there be no parliamentary control at all.
“What happens if a minister of the crown has a bad day? What happens if the bloviating, beshagged puddingbowl who passes for foreign secretary of our once functioning nation, decides that he has had enough of Michel Barnier’s cruel takedowns? On the face of it, he can make a regulation repealing the European Communities Act 1972. ‘Take that, Barnier! Oh, everyone’s flights have been cancelled. Still, he’s not laughing now, is he?’