Saturday, 15 July 2017

Evening Standard| Orwell revisited: the Great Repeal Bill

Evening Standard| Orwell revisited: the Great Repeal Bill


"First, the name is a deliberate echo of the Great Reform Act of 1832, that milestone on Britain’s journey to being a modern democracy. The implication is that we are engaged in a similar democratic act — “taking back control” of our affairs by “restoring” parliamentary sovereignty. Yet the very idea that Parliament can vote to restore its sovereignty exposes the falsity behind the argument. Our Parliament chose to join the EU, and now it may choose to leave it. Proof that Parliament has always been sovereign.

Second, a “Great Repeal Bill” suggests lots of things are being repealed. Far from it. This is the single greatest act of regulation in UK history. Thousands of EU rules are being imported wholesale into our law. Not one is being watered down, and none of the rules are being abolished.

Only a tiny minority of Brexit voters thought that by leaving the EU they were voting for freer markets, less red tape and lower taxes. Again they are going to have their delusions exposed. Sunderland and Stoke did not vote to turn Britain into Singapore. There is no Commons majority to deregulate anything. Already lobbying has started for more intervention once the constraints of EU membership are removed. The export of livestock will be banned by regulation. Taxpayer bungs to struggling businesses are to be allowed. More complexity in our tax system, like lots of VAT rates, is going to be encouraged."

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