Another empty Brexit promise

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: Stephen Hardy, George Close, Robertsbridge

One of the major planks of the Leave campaign was to bring back Parliamentary sovereignty.

It took a court case by brave Gina Miller up to the Supreme Court, at who knows what cost to you and me as taxpayers, to get this Government kicking and spluttering to admit that Parliament had to have a vote to trigger Article 50.

And yesterday we had the strange sight of David Davis making a ‘concession’ by offering MPs the chance to vote on the final Brexit deal.

Well that may sound on the surface to be fine and only to be expected, but is it all it appears to be?

Does it mean that Parliament can amend this new bill? Apparently not, unlike any other piece of legislation. So is Parliament truly sovereign?

Does it mean that Parliament can reject the bill and as a result we would not leave the EU? Apparently not: David Davis’s reply to a request for an assurance that the UK would leave the EU by prominent Brexiteer Owen Patterson if the bill was rejected was a virtually inaudible ‘yes’.

Does it mean that Parliament would be able to make this now bizarre and toothless decision well in advance of the Leave date of March 29, 2019 so we know where we are and where we are going? No, because Davis could not give an assurance on how long the actual negotiations with the EU would take.

Does it mean that Parliament would be able to extend the deadline for negotiations if an end seemed close but not quite there?

No, because in the other major piece of Brexit legislation, Theresa May said at the weekend she would insist on the Leave date being enshrined as part of that legislation.

So taking back Parliamentary sovereignty seems yet another of those Brexit promises up there with the ever growing fleet of airborne pigs. And the first working day after the Leave date is... April 1, 2019.