Henry VIII

Why on earth does Henry the Eighth keep getting mentioned in relation to us leaving the European Union you may well ask. Well, it is all to do with the fact that the Great Repeal Bill which will Transfer the body of EU law into UK law will contain clauses which will allow amendment of these laws by delegated legislation rather than using a full act of Parliament. This is an entirely normal Parliamentary procedure and is used all the time. Just to give one example changes to benefits are often done by Statutory Instrument.

Although they are described as Henry VIII clauses what he did was to try and govern by simple Royal Proclamation. I have heard it described several times that the government are planning to change legislation without a vote in Parliament. This is simply not the case. Depending on the exact procedure used and just to make it more complicated there is more than one) the delegated legislation is debated and voted on in Committee and then the House of Commons as a whole can vote on it if it wishes when it comes before the House for approval.
Very few are voted on. By their very nature they are invariably technical in nature and are not contentious. Considering the amount of EU legislation it is inconceivable that delegated legislation will not be used.

It is worth noting that those who are complaining about the use of these so called Henry VIII powers never seemed to mind when we were obliged to carry out EU directives and regulations which were sent to us by Brussels and there was nothing Parliament could do at all. Fortunately, in two years time we will once more be genuinely be in charge of all our laws.

One thought on “Henry VIII

  1. The re-moaners will do anything to scupper the process. I noted yesterdays comment showing a total misunderstanding of the instruments that a democracy of centuries in development uses. Yes we need to modernise the processes but never abandon the principles.

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