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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

I certainly support the Government’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, and very much respect the result of the referendum. Article 50 has been invoked and the Prime Minister has been clear that there must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to re-join it through the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the Government to make sure that this happens.

The Prime Minister has been clear that she wishes to minimise disruption to businesses and individuals as the UK leaves the EU. That is why the Repeal Bill was introduced. This bill will transfer EU law, including the case law of the European Court of Justice, into UK law at the point of the UK’s departure from the EU. This will make sure that the UK has a functioning statute book when it leaves the EU and it will provide the maximum amount of certainty, control and continuity.

The Bill will also give ministers in the UK Government and in the devolved administrations a temporary power to make legal corrections to transposed EU legislation. This will be time-limited to two years after exit day. Parliament or the devolved legislatures will also be able to scrutinise any statutory instrument made under this power. I must emphasise that the power could only be used to make corrections to transposed law, for example, by removing references in transposed EU law to the UK as a member state of the EU. The Bill is not a vehicle for major policy changes.

The UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 and that this means leaving the single market and the customs union at that point. The single market and the customs union are the main and essential elements of the EU. To remain in either would mean not really leaving the EU at all. Leaving these will ensure that the referendum result is respected in full and that the UK has more control over the issues you mention.

There will, of course, be an implementation period as we leave the EU. A cliff-edge for business and individuals would not be in anyone’s interests. But make no mistake: this will not be of unlimited duration. This would not be good for the UK or the EU.

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