Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

David Davis dismisses talk of Cabinet disagreements on withdrawal from EU

The move came after the opposition promised to create “hell” for ministers trying to get the Brexit Repeal Bill through Parliament.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has dismissed talk of a Cabinet clash over how to handle withdrawal from the EU.

The move came after the opposition promised to create “hell” for ministers trying to get the Brexit Repeal Bill through Parliament.

Asked if there was disagreement among senior ministers after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said there was “no plan for no deal”, Mr Davis said he was working on arrangements for all outcomes of Brexit negotiations, telling the BBC: “No this isn’t a clash. I wasn’t there when the Foreign Secretary said what he said.”

Pressed on why Mr Johnson seemed unaware of the plans, the Brexit Secretary said: “You’ll have to ask him.”

The remarks came as Labour looked set to vote against the crucial repeal legislation unless it is amended, because it states the European Charter of Fundamental Rights will not be put into UK law after the country’s withdrawal from the EU.

The First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones, said they would not grant the required legislative consent to the Bill as it stands, describing it as a “naked power grab” because it does not immediately return EU powers to devolved administrations.

And the Liberal Democrats warned the Government faces “hell” over the Bill, and a “political nightmare” that could cost Theresa May her job as Prime Minister.

Their statements underlined the fierce battles ahead over the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, in which a handful of Tory rebels could force the Government to change the legislation when it gets its second reading in the Commons this autumn.

It is understood ministers believe the rights in the charter are already contained in EU rules which the legislation will convert into domestic law on the day of Brexit.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer (PA)

The Bill is designed to transpose EU law into British law so the same rules apply on the day of Brexit as the day before, while giving parliaments and assemblies in Westminster, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff the power to drop or change them in the future.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has made clear Labour would not support the Bill in its current form.

He demanded concessions in six areas, including incorporating the charter into UK law, ensuring workers’ rights in the UK do not fall behind those in the EU, and limiting the scope of so-called “Henry VIII powers”, which could allow the Government to alter legislation without full parliamentary scrutiny.

With 800 to 1,000 pieces of secondary legislation, known as statutory instruments, likely to be brought forward under the powers and a two-year window in which to exercise them, there are likely to be objections from MPs and peers.


From Belfast Telegraph