3 Big government defeats on EU laws Bill

We had three significant government defeats on amendments to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Jenny also put the Jacob Rees-Mogg comments about gerrymandering and Voter ID on the official record. We knew it was vote rigging by the Conservatives but now we’ve heard it from an ex Minister.

The first amendment provides for the Schedule of retained EU law to be revoked to be referred to a Joint Committee of both Houses for sifting so that any revocation leading to substantial changes in UK law must be debated and voted on by each House. This stops a Minister from deleting or changing one of the 1,400 environmental laws (and others on workers rights) without coming back to Parliament to justify the change.

The second amendment removes a clause and inserts a new clause to allow Parliament and the devolved legislatures to prevent the revocation of any particular retained EU rights, powers and liabilities due to be revoked automatically at the end of 2023.

The third amendment adds a new clause requiring that regulations made relating to environmental protection and food standards must not reduce environmental or consumer safety protections compared to the retained law and must not conflict with UK international agreements.

It is telling that this Bill allows Ministers to make changes until June 2026, well into the next parliament. However, it wouldn’t allow a Green Party Minister to push through improvements to food standards or tougher environmental laws, as the government only wants changes that keep things the same or make them worse.

Voting on this legislation continues tomorrow (wednesday).