Oppose the Great Repeal Bill!

7 September 2017 — 38 Degrees

Theresa May wants new powers, so she can change UK laws behind closed doors after Brexit. [1] It’d mean swapping murky backroom deals in Brussels for more of the same in Westminster.

Tomorrow her plan will be debated by our MPs for the first time. [2] Some of Theresa May’s own MPs are already speaking out. [3] They’re saying what 38 Degrees-ers have been saying for some time: law changes that effect all of us have to be made the proper way, with debates and votes in Parliament.

We need to make sure that during tomorrow’s debate, as many MPs as possible stand up to speak out against any power-grab by Theresa May. If she sees that this is not a fight she can win, it could push her to ditch the plans altogether.

Can you email your MP right now and ask them to speak out in the debate? It only takes a couple of minutes and there are some suggestions of what to say waiting for you:


The laws which will need changing after Brexit effect all of us: they cover everything from how much paid holiday we get, to the ban on bee-killing pesticides. If these plans go ahead, it could mean waking up one morning to the news that your holiday pay has been cut, without a proper debate in Parliament.

The government knows this plan is controversial, and that getting it passed in Parliament will come down to the wire. [4] They’ll be counting up how many MPs speak against it.

If we can convince MPs to speak out, we could make sure the numbers go in our favour. But our MPs will only speak up if they know constituents like us expect them to.

If you think laws that effect all of us should be voted on properly in Parliament, please can you email your MP right now?



Thanks for being involved,

Trish, Rachel, David and the 38 Degrees team

Here’s some more info:

When we Brexit, the government will need to rewrite lots of rules which previously came from Brussels. First, they’ll take all existing EU laws and put them into UK law. Then they’ll go back and change these rules one by one.

This is a necessary process. But it needs to be done properly. The government is suggesting that it would be too time consuming for MPs to look properly at all the changes. So instead the Repeal Bill could give the government the power to change lots of laws in the future without fresh votes. This is known as delegated powers. The most extreme version of this power is known as the “Henry VIII” clause, after the Tudor king who tried to rule by decree instead of going through Parliament.

These powers are controversial. A House of Lords Committee has said: “Parliament should ensure that the delegated powers granted under the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ are as limited as possible.”

If you’d like, you can see the full report from the House of Lords Committee here:

[1] BBC: Brexit: Ministers warned not to treat repeal bill as ‘blank cheque’:
[2] Evening Standard: What is the Great Repeal Bill? All your questions answered as MPs prepare to debate the Brexit legislation:
[3] Unfortunately this article is behind a paywall, but it’s an article written by a Conservative MP warning of the dangers of the government giving themselves these powers:
Financial Times: Brexit is not an excuse to tame Parliament
[4] Mirror: Theresa May and her top allies launch desperate bid to stop a Tory rebellion over Brexit:

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