Labour must toughen up and be prepared to fight for all existing EU protections, in both Houses of Parliament. As Liberty has said today “If the Repeal Bill passes in this state, people in the UK will lose rights after Brexit. It’s that simple and the stakes are that high.”
I really hope that Labour will not only ‘oppose’ the Government dropping things like the Charter of Fundamental Rights, or the Precautionary Principle, but will join with other parties in putting forward some positive proposals for new institutions to replace the EU ones we are leaving behind.
The Government is trying to create regulatory systems in a way that by-passes Parliament, using Henry the 8th powers. This executive power grab must be resisted. The Grenfell fire has shown us the dangers of leaving regulation and enforcement to Ministers who have an ideological aversion to red tape. Given the government’s appalling failure to reduce air pollution and defend public health, it would be ridiculous to put them in charge of creating an enforcement body for the post-Brexit UK. Both MPs and peers need to assert themselves and work across party boundaries to come up with smart proposals for replacing EU institutions. We could start with a new Clean Air Act and an independent enforcement body along the lines of the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. A UK agency that can set standards, enforce them and be accountable in the courts if it fails to protect either human health and/or our environment.