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2nd Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 11th September 2017.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Labour, Wolverhampton South East 4:45 pm, 11th September 2017

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is, of course, correct that we have had some of these debates before.

The criticism does not stop with the House of Lords Committee. The Hansard Society says that

“the Bill will strengthen the…executive, not Parliament”.

Its report on the Bill says:

“the broad scope of its…powers, the inadequate constraints…on them, and shortcomings in the proposed parliamentary control…will be…a toxic mix”.

We have had regulatory Bills before, and many years ago, when I was first elected, I was involved in taking the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 through the House. There was huge controversy about the powers contained in that legislation, and many Conservative Members who most vociferously defend the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill attacked that Act as a huge power grab.

The response to the 2006 Act led to the setting up of a special scrutiny process for deregulatory measures, and the Hansard Society says:

“Previous legislation, such as the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, provides examples of ways in which” the Government

“could introduce safeguards into the EU (Withdrawal) Bill to tighten the scope and application of the powers.”

But there are no special scrutiny measures proposed in the Bill, even though its scope is far, far broader than the 2006 Act.