The Great Repeal Bill is happening, in an interview with The Sunday Times, Theresa May has confirmed that a new repeal bill will be announced this spring in the Queen's Speech. But what does this mean?
Sometimes disagreements are over a misunderstanding. There is a difference between British democracy and the form of democracy used across most of the world. In the UK, parliament has sovereignty over the law.
Let me explain what this means by quoting from the OU. “Compared to other constitutions in the world, the UK’s constitution is one of the very few, if not the only one, viewing parliament as the sovereign of its constitutional core." It went onto explain: “[There is a] fundamentally different understanding of sovereignty in the UK and other Member States. Those nations that do have a civil law system, where no common law applies and most law is codified, the law is sovereign, rather than the law maker. From their perspective and following their constitutional traditions, a parliament is not meant to be sovereign and although not many would argue that the EU’s application of democratic principles is perfect, most Member States do not understand the UK’s fear for a loss of sovereignty."
So what does this Repeal Bill mean?
It means that once the UK has left the EU, which will presumably be two years after Article 50 is enacted, which Mrs May has also said will happen in the first quarter of next year, all EU law will be enshrined in UK law.
So is this really such a big deal? It means that the moment the UK is no longer in the EU all the laws that the UK follows will be identical, but will have a different overall name. Collectively they will be called UK Law. To reiterate, only the name will change.
The difference, though, is that in the UK, parliament has sovereignty. So once laws that are identical to EU's laws are subject to the sovereignty of parliament, they can then be changed.
And once we leave the EU they will change, but very slowly. It takes time, a lot of time for parliament to change a law or introduce a new one.
The sentence above was wrong. The process of changing UK law, once the UK leaves the EU, won't be very slow. It will be very, very slow.
On the Andrew Marr Show, Theresa May said that the Repeal Bill will show intent. She said: “It makes it very clear to the majority of people who voted to leave the EU that this is exactly what we will be doing. Secondly, it gives that greater degree of clarity about the sort of time tables we will be following, and crucially it's important for us to set this out now so that we have the timing, so that when we leave the EU there is a small transition."