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Theresa May ‘profoundly misleading’ over Brexit legal changes, expert warns

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Cambridge law professor Mark Elliott isn’t happy with the PM

A top law professor has rounded on Theresa May over her claims about the EU Withdrawal Bill being debated by lawmakers this week.

Professor Mark Elliott, a public law expert and blogger, told Twitter followers yesterday that the Prime Minister had given a “highly selective & profoundly misleading” description of the influential Constitution Committee’s take on the bill.

The draft law will copy and paste thousands of pieces of EU legislation onto the UK statute book, in order to prevent a legal vacuum after we leave the bloc. May told MPs:

We will require certain powers to make corrections to the statute book after the bill has become law, because the negotiations are ongoing. We will do that via secondary legislation, which will receive parliamentary scrutiny—the approach has been endorsed by the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

But Elliott pointed out that the committee’s report on so-called ‘Henry VIII powers’ — named after the Tudor monarch with a penchant for beheading wives and legislating without parliament — did no such thing.

It’s widely accepted that ministers will need to have some sort of power to tweak all the EU laws being kept so that they make sense after Brexit — by removing references to the powers of EU agencies, for example.

Cambridge professor Elliott, who runs a blog containing advice for law students, concluded that the committee “has certainly not ‘endorsed’ the approach in the bill”.

The official Cambridge Law Faculty account approvingly shared his point, as did many influential legal Twitterati such as Adam Wagner of One Crown Office Row and Jo Maugham QC of Devereux Chambers.

Elliott is also legal adviser to the Lords Constitution Committee, but stressed to Legal Cheek that he was tweeting in a personal capacity. Nevertheless, the House of Lords itself got in on the action this morning, with a press release repeating the charge that the committee report had been “selectively quoted”. Constitution Committee chairman Ann Taylor said that “we are disappointed that we have not only been misquoted by the government, but that our key recommendations have been ignored”.

MPs are expected to begin the second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 around lunchtime today. No doubt Professor Elliott will be keeping a close eye on them.

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28 Comments

Anonymous

who are u

(5)(0)

Investigator

From a brief review of his online profile, young Conor appears to be a budding freelance writer who writes about legal affairs, Brexit and political statistics for a number of outlets. He is follicly challenged, is of Irish heritage and has been known to play hockey. He appears to enjoy a bit of CSR and once taught English in India. He once organised a homework club.

(2)(0)

Wankington Bear

Sounds like a wanker.

(12)(1)

Anonymous

It is all fine, but the homework club is a bit much. He should probably remove that from his LinkedIn profile.

Conor – I imagine you will read all of these comments. Delete it from your LinkedIn profile now.

(0)(0)

Triggered cuck

You forget the fact checking the news bit. THIS IS FAKE NEWS. WHY CONOR? WHY?

(0)(0)

Pantman

I woke up in a Soho doorway
A policeman knew my name
He said you can go sleep at home tonight
If you can get up and walk away…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

TM is a nasty, nasty piece of work.

(7)(2)

Interloper

Nasty plus worryingly stupid and ignorant !

(4)(0)

Anonymous

There is a sense of perspective needed in debates about Brexit and the law.

Disengaging from Europe is legally complex – despite what the stupider Brexiteers have said – and will take years to work itself through. Much reform will be piecemeal and some will merely be change to catch up with practice happening despite the law. But a workable legal environment will develop and eventually settle. In the meantime life will carry on, however horrified legal academics and lawyers might be at some legal wording, assumption, forecast or whatever. There is no legal Armageddon because of the referendum result, just as there would have been no ‘death of Britain’ if we’d voted to stay in.

I think it’s best to ignore any comment from pro- or anti-Brexit lawyers for at least five years.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

It would have taken Nigel Farage a day to effect Brexit.

He would have given one of his YouTube speeches to the assembled MEPs in the European Parliament ending ‘so tell the corporations, banks and pension funds who pull your strings that you have to sign here, because democracy unexpectedly delivered a “gotcha”.”

He would have presented them with a modern reference style document containing a hundred signature blanks which would have read…

To whom it may concern, this is to confirm that the United kingdom was a member of the European Union between 1 January 1973 and 24 June 2016. Signed (everybody present in Parliament)

They would all have signed on 24 June 2016, because they would have been dumbfounded by the manner of his victory and his willpower.

(0)(2)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

And everyone would have stood up and applauded as Albert Einstein shook his hand, presumably?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Oh no Corbyn San, they absolutely detest him because he has the moral high ground over them, he makes them look stupid and he never cowers. They would not have applauded him. There would have been a deflated mass movement of bodies towards a queue in front of his desk to sign and leave asap. Also Albert Einstein is dead, did you mean Sadiq Khan ?

(0)(2)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

I am sorry that you have apparently been failed by the United Kingdom’s educational system.

(2)(0)

Herbert

I voted Brexit because, like most right-thinking British people, I want a return of free-speech, imperial measures, blue passports, border controls, proper police uniforms with shiny buttons, pounds-shillings-and-pence, the death penalty, caning in schools and steam trains.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

And you are racist.

(2)(1)

Herbert

I’m not racist, but…

This comment was moderated because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments Policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Don’t forget Empire 2.0 and an economy founded on “innovative jams, scones and tea” plus holidays in Bognor, Blackpool and Weston, slap-up meals of fish and chips for ever along with Tory rule.

Britain !!!! Gawd bless ya ! *salutes*

(3)(0)

Anonymous

You want to see how it’s done ? Keir Starmer is ripping them apart at the moment

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Keir is an absolute boss.

I mentioned it a while back on a LC cheek thread – he will be PM.

(2)(1)

Pantman

But c’mon, Davies is hardly on his level as an opponent – it’s a walkover. We have a wagon load of Tory dullards leading us off a cliff…

(1)(0)

Interloper

Davis is an incompetent moron. Which is why he fits very well into the current crop of idiots to the right of The Speaker’s chair.

I include the ever-capitulatory, say supposedly the right thing yet always party before country Ms Soubry in that..

(0)(0)

Pantman

Ozzy wrote this, getting on for 40 years ago, what prescience:

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe. it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
I’m going off the rails on a crazy train…

(1)(0)

Herbert

I like trains.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Well, that may be the case, but I expect you’d prefer them kept on track, rather than veering off down an embankment.

(0)(0)

Interloper

Ozzy was particularly off his nut back then but totally agree

(0)(0)

Herbert

I’m totally off my nut too.

I think it may be an allergy.

I did so used to enjoy my daily nut…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The mainstream press are equally to blame for the naivety as to the potential economic and legal consequences of a failure to achieve a resolution in the Brexit process. They have stoked up a desire to hark back to a bygone era that is simply unachievable. They are also presenting the outcome of the Brexit process as one of polariy ie no deal or a brilliant deal. The reality will likely be something in the middle which will satisfy no one.

(0)(0)

Air Hair Lair

The pressure is coming from big tax avoiders, and Tory donors, cheered on by Russia and US, who want us isolated and desperate.

The whole con swallowed whole( for long enough to achieve the out vote) by
the man in the street- or as ‘man of the people’ Farage now prefers to call them ” the Great Unwashed”

Question: what’s Corbyn’s role in this?!

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.