The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Far­ron: We’ll block cru­cial Re­peal Bill

- By Martin Beck­ford and Glen Owen

RE­MAIN back­ers be­lieve they will be able to de­feat the flag­ship Brexit Bill be­cause the Govern­ment is now so weak.

Dubbed the Great Re­peal Bill, the leg­is­la­tion will trans­fer decades of Euro­pean Union rul­ings and judg­ments on to the UK statute book so that they can be changed or axed at a later date.

Theresa May has de­scribed it as an ‘es­sen­tial step’ on Bri­tain’s jour­ney out of the EU.

The dif­fi­culty of nav­i­gat­ing the Great Re­peal Bill through Par­lia­ment was part of the rea­son why Mrs May called the snap Elec­tion, as she hoped to re­turn with a larger ma­jor­ity and so avoid crit­i­cal votes be­ing lost.

But now that the Con­ser­va­tives have lost their ma­jor­ity in the Com­mons and are re­ly­ing on the Demo­cratic Union­ist Party to keep the Govern­ment go­ing, anti-Brexit cam­paign­ers are in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent they can stop the law go­ing through.

Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Tim Far­ron told The Mail on Sun­day last night: ‘The Great Re­peal Bill is fac­ing a long, hard bat­tle and I plan to fight the Tories every step of the way.

‘Our rights and pro­tec­tions must not be eroded. I do not trust Theresa May on this and will work with any­one on a cross­party ba­sis to stop her. The Govern­ment know they don’t have the votes to get this through. My mes­sage to them is stark: you need to go back to the draw­ing board or face de­feat.’

Lord Wood, an ad­viser to Ed Miliband when he was Labour leader, wrote on­line: ‘There is sim­ply no way the stag­ger­ing scope, com­plex­ity and sen­si­tiv­i­ties of the Great Re­peal Bill can be nav­i­gated given the Elec­tion re­sult.’ But lead­ing Brex­i­teers are adamant that any at­tempt to sab­o­tage the Bill would fail.

Vet­eran Euroscep­tic Sir Bill Cash said: ‘Any at­tempt to frus­trate or ob­struct the Re­peal Bill would be con­trary to the will of the peo­ple at the ref­er­en­dum, and what peo­ple voted for in the Gen­eral Elec­tion. They can try to put down amend­ments but it doesn’t look to me like they could get the votes to do it.’

At the same time as it tries to get the Great Re­peal Bill through Par­lia­ment, the Govern­ment must also get on with Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions in Europe.

The talks are due to be­gin in just over a week, with EU lead­ers urg­ing Bri­tain to keep to the timetable de­spite the Elec­tion tur­moil.

Yes­ter­day Martin Sel­mayr, the pow­er­ful aide to Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean ClaudeJunc­ker, ap­peared dis­mis­sive of Mrs May’s at­tempt to re­main Prime Min­is­ter, de­scrib­ing the res­ig­na­tions of her key aides Nick Ti­mothy and Fiona Hill as a des­per­ate tac­tic to keep her­self in power.

 ??  ?? DE­FI­ANT: Tim Far­ron, with his wife Rosie, at his con­stituency count on Thurs­day night
DE­FI­ANT: Tim Far­ron, with his wife Rosie, at his con­stituency count on Thurs­day night

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