This week MEPs are in Strasbourg for the monthly plenary session. We are predominantly concerned with electing the new President of the Parliament, but there was something of much greater importance to concern UKIP MEPs – Theresa May’s speech on Brexit.
While Mrs May has used many of the policy statements that UKIP has pioneered over the years, she nevertheless departs company with us by proposing a slow-motion Brexit, with an uncertain outcome.
The essential part for me came at the beginning of her speech when she proposed the following: ‘That all EU law would be incorporated into UK law’, and that both Houses of Parliament would vote on the ‘deal’ at the end of the ‘negotiating’ process, and only then would the repeal of the European Communities Act take place. And the end of the process will be about April 2019, well over two years away.
First of all, all EU law has been transposed into UK law by means of Acts of Parliament anyway, so why do it again by some other mechanism? That is in itself fishy. Secondly, if Parliament votes on the fabled deal at the end of the process the Remainers may still be in a majority and may reject it – as indeed may the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
UKIP’s view is that Parliament should vote on the repeal of the European Communities Act (1972) now. That way Parliament can decide if it is going to accept the will of the people in the Referendum, or not and put themselves in opposition to the people.
When the European Communities Act has been repealed, all Acts of Parliament transposing EU legislation can be repealed or amended in accordance with our priorities and time-scales. The UK Government is then in a strong bargaining position with the EU on those things we wish to continue with for genuine co-operation.
Mrs May cannot be trusted, and her policy will give hostages to fortune on Brexit to our own Remainers, and the EU. UKIP will continue to agitate for the immediate repeal of the European Communities Act.