The British people voted in a free and fair referendum to leave the EU. Turnout was larger than at any election since 1992 and no Prime Minister or party in British history has ever received as many votes as the vote to leave did. The UK’s withdrawal will be delivered in the national interest and the country will regain its sovereignty in full.
Article 50 has now been invoked and the Prime Minister has been clear that there must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to re-join it through the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the Government to make sure that this happens.
Nobody should believe that the negotiation process will be brief or straightforward. It is going to require significant expertise and a consistent approach. However, I am confident that with Theresa May as our Prime Minister, there is no one better to provide the strong leadership required to form a new partnership with the European Union and build a more global Britain.
The Prime Minister has been clear that she wishes to minimise disruption to businesses and individuals as the UK leaves the EU. That is why a Repeal Bill is being introduced. This bill will transfer EU law, including the case law of the European Court of Justice, into UK law at the point of the UK’s departure from the EU. This will make sure that the UK has a functioning statute book when it leaves the EU.
Workers’ rights, consumer protection and environmental laws will not change and businesses will benefit from this certainty. Parliament will, of course, be free to keep, amend and repeal laws as it sees fit after this date. There may also be some laws which no longer operate as intended and the bill will provide the power for corrections to be made so that the UK legal system can continue to operate.
At the same time, the Government wants to ensure that power is returned as close as possible to communities as laws are returned to the UK. I expect that there will be a significant increase in the decision making powers of the devolved administrations but I want this approach to work coherently for the whole of the UK.
I can also confirm that the UK will not convert the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into EU law. The UK will remain a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights because this is entirely separate from the EU.
If you wish to view more information about the bill, you can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627983/General_Factsheet.pdf