UK Parliament 'Beheads Democracy' With EU Exit Bill
Public interest organisations and opposition leaders slammed the EU Withdrawal Bill as the biggest threat to parliamentary democracy in decades explains explains journalist Steve Topple
Sharmini Peries: It’s the real news network, I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The executive branch of the British government and its leader has been accused of a sinister power grab in reference to the increasingly authoritarian rule of prime minister Theresa May, a power grab so severe that some civil society organizations dubbed it ‘beheading of democracy.’ This came into debate the day after the referendum on the Brexit, which triggered the great repeal bill now called the EU exit bill. Related to all of this, on Tuesday parliament voted 320 to 301, a slim margin, to allow the UK prime minister Theresa May the ability to dominate every parliamentary select committee in the house of parliament. This will allow dozens of crucial laws to be passed without a meaningful debate and opposition scrutiny effecting everything from health and safety protections to worker’s rights. This is despite the fact that even the conservative party does not hold a majority in the house of parliament and despite many ranking parliamentarians including from her own party, has objected to this kind of a power grab.
As such, this act also violates longstanding convention that parliamentary scrutiny and select committees should represent. Joining us today to discuss the latest developments for what over 70 civil society organizations have called ‘beheading of democracy’ and the ‘great power grab’ is Steve Topple. Steve is an independent journalist and political and social commentator. He currently writes for The Canary, an independent online UK-based news organization ranked very high leading up to the last elections in the UK as a place to go, of getting to news in the UK. Thanks so much for joining us, Steve.
Steve Topple: Hello, Sharmini
Sharmini Peries: Steve, the great repeal bill now called the EU withdrawal bill has passed along with what I just stated in the intro about this new piece of legislation that gives prime minister Theresa May so much power and authority, can you start off with explaining exactly how these bills are related and how this consolidation of power is coming about in the UK?
Steve Topple: Sure, okay so if we start at the beginning if you like, the first piece of legislation is the EU withdrawal bill that was previously called the great repeal bill. I think they changed it because it’s getting quite a negative press. The EU withdrawal bill went before parliament on Monday night for its second reading. This is the act, which once it becomes law will repeal the 1972 communities act, which saw the UK go into the EU and therefore, it will also wipe out all EU legislation that currently applies under UK law. The government are going to replace it with a new raft of British laws, around 12,000 pieces of legislation by the way are going to have to be passed. It’s an absolutely massive task for the government. This will essentially signal the end of the UK’s membership of the EU. This bill was before parliament on Monday night. It’s very unpopular. There’s been a lot of opposition to it. The Labour party, the opposition party in the UK tried to put a stop to this bill even moving forward past Monday night. That was voted down and so we ended up with this bill passing.Koko, NV Wino like this
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