The Government has recently released its 12-point plan for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), the day after parliament voted to give power to them to trigger Article 50. However, the biggest complaint about the EU Bill was that it left no time for MPs to debate and amend the bill properly. During a debate, yesterday the government comfortably saw off 4 amendments to the Brexit White Paper.

MPs voted against the Labour amendment of consulting devolved bodies, the SNP amendment that the government agrees plan with Scotland and Plaid Cymru’s amendment calling for a report on the impact of Brexit on Wales, majorities of 57, 230 and 63 respectively.


Throughout the referendum sovereignty played a key role Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaigns, but the bill appears to discredit those claims. The bill says “2.1 The sovereignty of Parliament is a fundamental principle of the UK constitution. Whilst Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU, it has not always felt like that.”

It continues to mention of the 1,056 EU-related documentation that have passed through parliamentary scrutiny in 2016. This highlights the amount of EU related documentation that have gone through our parliament system, with the view to scrutinise the actions of the EU. The bill further mentions “These include proposals for EU Directives, Regulations, Decisions and Recommendations, as well as Commission delegated acts, and other documents such as Commission Communications, Reports and Opinions”.

However, it fails to mention just how many of the 1,056 are EU Directives, Regulations, or Opinions. The bill also proposes that it will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), even though the courts are based on British law the government claim it will still follow international law and commitments.


The bill mentions that controlling immigration is in the 12-point plan, the government recognises the key role migrants play “We welcome the contribution that migrants have brought and will continue to bring to our economy and society.”

But then goes on to say “However, in the last decade or so, we have seen record levels of long term net migration in the UK,13 and that sheer volume has given rise to public concern about pressure on public services, like schools and our infrastructure, especially housing, as well as placing downward pressure on wages for people on the lowest incomes.”

Whilst there is truth to those pressures, blaming immigration is a deflection tactic by the government for failing to provide ample investment within these areas.

Whilst it undoubtedly did rise under the Blair/Brown years, largely down to the economy performing strongly. The biggest rises in migration have come under Tory reign, when May was Home Secretary in 2014 and 2015.

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If you delve into the 77-page document it further mentions trade and a ‘global’ Britain, and that the government will seek to remain free trade partners with the EU but come out of the Single Market. Switzerland have agreements in place, but they don’t have access to a lot of the EU and they must pay tariffs on specific exports. Plus, they still must abide by EU law when exporting into a country within the EU trade agreements.

Phillip Hammond has already said that Britain could become a tax haven which will further decrease wages and give rise to taxes and VAT, this would hit the poorest hardest.

With ‘The Great Repeal Bill’ already being planned to remove us from the European Communities Act 1972, the government citing better and improved worker’s rights. This government’s plan is deregulation of the markets, wage depression and higher taxes.

However, with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party, it is becoming apparent that there is little opposition. With a government spokesperson saying after the debate “nothing of substance has been newly offered today”.