MINISTERS will grab sweeping “Henry VIII” powers to bypass MPs and make more than 1,000 changes to EU legislation, under a historic Brexit law unveiled today.
Throwing down the the gauntlet to Labour and anti-Brexit MPs in her own party, Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Bill – nicknamed the “Great Repeal Bill” – gives her Government two years to amend more than 12,000 Brussels regulations that will become British law when we leave in 2019.
But rather than force potentially tricky House of Commons votes on many of the issues, they will be able to make changes with a flick of the pen using powers that date back to medieval times.
With between 800 and 1,000 vital legal amendments already identified, the PM will infuriate MPs by trying to force these changes through Parliament by decree powers first used by Henry VIII.
Insiders say using Statutory Instruments and ministerial proclamations to make the changes will avoid a legal quagmire.
But the battle lines have already been drawn – with Labour and the Lib Dems vowing to grind parliament to standstill.
An early battle was already raging, with No10 confirming they will not take the EU’s Fundamental Charter of Human Rights on British books – a “red line” for Labour.
And Mrs May risked the early wrath of of Brexiteers in her own party, by failing to include a final end date for our EU exit.
In response to its unveiling the Brexit Secretary David Davis, said: “This Bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control.