The Lords failed to stick to its guns and amend the Article 50 Bill to allow a meaningful vote on the final outcome of negotiations and also to secure the rights of 3 million EU nationals who have made this country their home. I voted for both amendments, but unfortunately, only a few brave Labour peers ignored the Labour whip and voted. All others abstained. Continue reading “A sad day for Parliament”
Employment and equality protections
This amendment, which was drafted in collaboration with the Women’s Equality Party, would ensure that, once the UK has withdrawn from the EU, any changes to workers’ rights or equality legislation derived from EU law would be subject to full Parliamentary scrutiny. Continue reading “My ’employment and equality’ amendment to Article 50”
This amendment would ensure that, following withdrawal from the EU, the UK’s environmental regulators and enforcement agencies – namely the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs – are adequately funded and authorised to effectively perform the regulatory functions currently undertaken by EU institutions. We need powerful regulators and courts to ensure that breaches of the law are challenged. Continue reading “My ‘super regulators’ amendment to Article 50”
This amendment would ensure that, in relation to EU-derived environmental protections, the UK judicial system would be ready, following departure from the EU, to effectively perform the enforcement duties currently undertaken by institutions of the EU. Currently, the Commission acts as the guardian of the law and responds to legitimate complaints. Serious breaches are referred to the European Court of Justice, which has the power to sanction, including fines of many hundreds of millions of pounds. Continue reading “My environmental enforcement amendment to Article 50”
This amendment would require the Government to set out, prior to triggering Article 50, a detailed plan for a transitional arrangement with the EU, covering the period between the end of the two-year Article 50 negotiation period, and the coming into force of a final Treaty on the UK’s new relationship with the EU. And it would further require that that plan be approved by Parliament. Continue reading “My ‘safety net’ amendment to Article 50 Bill”
As someone who has advocated leaving the EU for over two decades, I resent people saying I am out to ‘wreck’ the Brexit bill by seeking to amend it. Many of us have huge concerns that we will lose environmental and social protections because of the way the Prime Minister is approaching these negotiations. I am concerned that the Cabinet will attempt to dump protections for everything from wildlife and countryside to workers rights and climate change, by using a combination of exit negotiations and secondary legislation. It is wrong to use the referendum result as cover for by-passing proper Parliamentary scrutiny and the Lords has the job of ensuring that a democratic process is followed throughout the different stages of the negotiations. As for the threats of Lords abolition and replacing it with a democratically elected second chamber, that would be a welcome bonus.
Leading London ‘experts’ went head-to-head in a debate on whether Britain should remain in the EU.