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Brexit position paper on pending ECJ cases published

14 July 2017

"The Bill lifts from the UK Government and Parliament the requirement to comply with European Union law, but does the opposite for the devolved legislatures: it imposes a new set of strict restrictions".

However, Labour is set to oppose the government's decision not to incorporate the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights into British law.

"Of course questions remain on a range of other issues, such as European Union citizens' rights in the United Kingdom post-Brexit".

In addition, no legal proceedings will be able to be brought before the United Kingdom courts post-Brexit where the claims consist of an alleged breach of European Union law, nor will courts be able to "disapply or quash any enactment or other rule of law" or "quash any conduct or otherwise decide that it is unlawful, because it is incompatible with any of the general principles of European Union law", under the draft legislation.

Numerous rights set out by the document are already included in domestic law or other European legislation that will be transferred across by the Bill.

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In response to these problems, as expected, the Repeal Bill provides for so-called "Henry VIII clauses", which empower the Government to introduce secondary legislation amending domestic primary and secondary legislation to the extent necessary to take account of Brexit. It returns powers exclusively to Westminster and prevents the Scottish Parliament legislating in areas where powers have been returned.

But, contentiously, it gives the government powers to fix "deficiencies" in European Union law by what's known as statutory instruments, which can be used without the parliamentary scrutiny usually needed to make or amend legislation. In a position paper on the matter, the government said it will allow the continuation of pending cases in the European Court of Justice but will not allow new proceedings after the date it leaves - even if the facts in the case happened before.

What are the chances of Bill passing through Parliament smoothly? They refer to the Statute of Proclamation 1539, which allowed Henry VIII to legislate by making a proclamation, which had to be obeyed like an Act of Parliament.

The bill will likely face stiff opposition to several clauses that give ministers wide-ranging powers to modify European laws as they are translated into United Kingdom law.

Europe's pharmaceutical and bio-science industry raised concerns that the supply of life-saving medicines could be severely disrupted unless Britain successfully negotiates a smooth and orderly exit from the EU.

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Here are some of the key questions surrounding the legislation. That means just a handful of rebels from her own party would need to defect if all other opposition parties voted against it.

'The real significance of the bill is not so much its provisions, but the number and nature of the amendments which may be moved in the Commons or the Lords, ' he said.

He also warned the bill lacked protections for employment, equality and environmental rights.

If the devolved parliaments of the two countries do not approve the bill, but the United Kingdom parliament does, it would likely provoke a constitutional crisis and create new uncertainty that the bill was meant to prevent.

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Brexit position paper on pending ECJ cases published