- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
Tuesday 14 November 2017 saw the first day of The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill’s Committee of the Whole House. A Committee of the Whole House takes place in the House of Commons Chamber and is presided over by the chairman of the Ways and Means committee. The Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.
On the first day of the committee, the Government announced that they would give Parliament a binding vote on the final Brexit deal. This was another U-turn from the Conservatives.
On Wednesday 15 November 2017, the second day of the Committee, a Labour amendment which called for EU environmental laws to be retained was defeated by 20 votes. Labour’s amendments which would have ensured changes to employment rights, environmental protection and other EU regulations had to happen through primary legislation were also defeated. This gives too much power to Ministers and takes power away from Parliament.
New Clause 67: Environmental protection: principles under Article 191 of TFEU
‘(1) Principles contained in Article 191 of TFEU in relation to environmental protection and listed in subsection (2) shall continue to be recognised and applied on and after exit day.
(2) The principles are—
(a) the precautionary principle as it relates to the environment,
(b) the principle that preventive action should be taken to avert environmental damage,
(c) the principle that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source, and
(d) the principle that the polluter should pay.’—(Matthew Pennycook.)
This new clause would ensure that environmental principles under Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would continue to apply in the UK after exit day.
Further Information on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill can be found here.
“A Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provision in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.”