National Post (National Edition) - - WORLD -

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment pub­lished plans Thurs­day for a her­culean leg­isla­tive task: con­vert­ing thou­sands of EU laws onto the Bri­tish books as the coun­try be­gins its Brexit de­cou­pling from Brus­sels.

The law-chang­ing blue­print landed a day af­ter Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May trig­gered Ar­ti­cle 50, of­fi­cially serv­ing the Euro­pean Union di­vorce pa­pers and be­gin­ning exit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The swift re­lease of the gov­ern­ment’s plans for the “Great Re­peal Bill” re­flects just how split Bri­tain re­mains as di­vorce talks loom with the EU. Bri­tish lead­ers sense an ur­gency to calm Brexit op­po­nents.

The re­peal bill will see thou­sands of EU laws — cov­er­ing such top­ics as worker’s rights, en­vi­ron­men­tal rules and fi­nance reg­u­la­tions — trans­posed into Bri­tish codes to pro­vide le­gal cer­tainty and a “smooth and or­derly” de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union.

The bill seeks to show work­ers, con­sumers and busi­nesses that the “rules have not changed overnight,” David Davis, the Brexit sec­re­tary, told the House of Com­mons.

The plans have been de­scribed as a gi­gan­tic “cut and paste” job, repa­tri­at­ing 40 years of pow­ers to Lon­don.

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