On 07 September 2017, the House of Commons will deliberate the Second Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which was formerly known as the Great Repeal Bill.
This bill, is in fact, the most dangerous part of the Brexit process. If it were to be passed unamended, it would enable any minister, to flounce out of talks with the EU, without further recourse to Parliament.
The Brexit bill is an attempt to grab power from Parliament. Yes, the same one which the Government White Paper admitted is sovereign. The same Parliament which the Government bullied into authorising the Article 50 letter, although Parliament had made no decision to leave the European Union, after a consultative (advisory) non-binding referendum.
The Government wants to copy all EU law into UK law. This begs the question, that if it isn’t UK law, why are we obeying any of it ? But this is a red herring. The purpose of copying EU law into UK law, is the next move. The Brexit bill is designed to enable ministers to change or repeal any law emanating from the European Parliament, without scrutiny from Parliament.
Ministers would be able to scrap basic rights which we have acquired via the European Parliament. Human Rights Act 1998 Which rights do you want to lose ? Employment rights could be changed for the worse, because businesses will lobby the Government to allow longer hours or reduce maternity pay or make it even harder to go to a tribunal against an unscrupulous employer. Anything to increase their profit margin.
Another part of the bill, sneaks in a clause disabling the right to sue the Government. If the Government makes a decision which screws up your life or causes people to literally lose their lives, homes – whatever – we, the people wouldn’t be able to do anything.
‘Taking Back Control’ doesn’t mean control by Parliament, though Leave.EU said it was. Parliament was sovereign. The Conservative Government, clinging on to power by DUP seats, wants to take control, for itself. It wants to bully Parliament into allowing it to take a more authoritarian path, down which the people it is supposed to represent, get fewer and fewer rights. The slippery slope, following Hungary and Poland.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has put together a European Union (Withdrawal) Bill briefing which will help you decide which clauses you want to complain about to your MP.
September’s Brexit vote: Alex Sobel MP draws his red lines this might help also.
Your email doesn’t need to be lengthy. You only need to point out what you don’t like about the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and why. Your opinion as a constituent is as valid as anyone else’s. If this is your first email or letter about
If you want to go the extra mile and show this is really important to you, then writing an actual letter means a physical thing which has to be opened, rather than an email which can be responded to automatically.
<First name> <Surname> MP
House of Commons
A letter doesn’t need to be handwritten but DO ensure that your full postal address in the MP’s constituency is on the letter. If you aren’t sure who your MP is, because you haven’t contacted them before or you have a new MP you can get all the info on Parliament UK by sticking your postcode in.
MPs will be back in the House of Commons on Tuesday 05 September 2017 and the Second Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will take place on Thursday 07 September 2017 and Monday 11 September 2017.
Even if you don’t get a reply, the emails and letters all have to be categorised and counted. Writing your own email or letter carries more weight than firing off a template letter. It shows that you have put some effort in and are focused on clauses which you believe to be a problem for you personally and/or the country.
An informal Twitter poll showed that 60% of the Remainers who responded, hadn’t bothered to email/write to their MP. That sort of apathy, gives the Tories the confidence to plow on.
Imagine for a moment, that you are a Conservative MP. A Remainer, in a Leave constituency. You’re worried that Leave.EU will get Leavers to join the local Conservative party, in big enough numbers, to vote you out. The Chief Whip will be grilling you on both sides and pressuring you to vote for the Brexit bill. You want to rebel, but the Remainers in your constituency aren’t getting in touch. You haven’t got a pile of pro-EU letters at all. Which side are you likely to vote for ?
That’s why it is important to engage with your MP. Let him or her know that you are against the Brexit bill and why. If it’s the first time that you’ve contacted your MP, tell them, let them know that this matters to you. That in your opinion they should be putting democracy before party.
If your MP voted against triggering Article 50, how about sending a thank you card with a request not to vote for the Brexit bill ?
Democracy works better when we engage with it.