News / Sustain

Henry VIII enters Brexit debate

A useful contribution to expertise on the Brexit process from Wildlife and Countryside Link explains (among many other things) how the Great Repeal Bill could contain devices that would allow the law to be altered later without due scrutiny.

Sustain observer member Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL) brings together 45 environment and animal protection organisations. Its submission to the Procedure Committee Inquiry into Delegated Powers and the Great Repeal Bill examines the legal processes involved in separating the UK from the EU, and clarifies the measures the alliance thinks are necessary to safeguard  environmental protections.
 
One interesting insight concerns the legal device known as the 'Henry VIII clause'. A Henry VIII clause is a provision that allows the Government to amend or repeal a law after it has become an Act of Parliament, enabling primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation, with or without parliamentary scrutiny. The Great Repeal Bill, which will convert much EU law into UK law, has been described as a 'giant Henry VIII Clause'. WCL argues that any changes to environmental law that would significantly alter its scope should be made by primary legislation, 'giving a proper role to Parliament as the sovereign law maker to prevent deeply undemocratic alterations to law'.
 
Read the submission in full here.
 
Sustain is coordinating work from many partners on the opportunities and threats  Brexit presents for the food supply: read more here.

Published 3 Mar 2017

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