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Stuart Agnew

Labour Party and The Withdrawal Bill

13th September 2017


LABOUR PARTY AND THE WITHDRAWAL BILL
 
TACTICAL SOCIAL MEDIA EXERCISE
(Rev 1 September 2017)
 
Background
 
The Labour party is determined to kill off the Withdrawal Bill using whatever false statements or omissions necessary, eg, Keir Starmer's objections to the Bill centred around the powers it gives Ministers to make secondary legislation - the so-called Henry VIII powers - with Starmer claiming that it would give the Government the power to implement laws relating to Brexit with no oversight from Parliament, particularly Section 9 on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, which allows for amendment of the Act itself.
 
Had he done his homework, however, he would have dug down to Schedule 7 of the Bill, which states that such wide-ranging secondary legislation cannot be passed under Section 9 before it receives affirmative resolution from both Houses of Parliament - that is, a full vote in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, e.g. the first statement in Schedule 7 is:-
 
“SCHEDULE 7 Section 16 REGULATIONS PART 1
SCRUTINY OF POWERS TO DEAL WITH DEFICIENCIES
Scrutiny of regulations made by Minister of the Crown or devolved authority acting alone 
1 (1) A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 7 which contain provision falling within sub - paragraph (2) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.” 
 
Even though there is an exemption for urgent cases, which may be necessary given the likelihood of a very last-minute agreement with the EU, this still requires votes to be held in both Houses to approve the legislation within 30 days or it will be automatically annulled. It should be said of course that there are many issues surrounding secondary legislation and the ‘affirmative resolution procedure’ that are less than straightforward and the last time this procedure was used by Parliament was in the 1970’s apart for a short skirmish in 2015.
 
However, this new-found opposition to secondary legislation powers is particularly surprising given their widespread use in ordinary legislation, and the fact that the very piece of legislation the Withdrawal Bill is set to repeal - the European Communities Act 1972 - has been responsible for the most extreme unfettered use of secondary legislation in British history: it was the mechanism by which almost 9,000 EU directives have been incorporated into UK law, not to mention a further 12,000 EU regulations which are directly imposed on UK law with no involvement of Parliament whatsoever.
(Data from Brexit Central http://brexitcentral.com/hypocritical-remainers-misleading-public-secondary-legislation/ ).
 
Suggested counter tactic
 
Preamble
 
Donald Trump made his way to the White House and Presidency using social media as his main thrust. He spent roughly half the amount that the Clinton regime did but he won.
 
Ammunition
 
UKIP currently have about 39,000 members; say two thirds use a computer and two thirds of them use social media (SM), that means there are over 17,000 potential SM users available to fight UKIP/Brexit corner. Each of these have access to several others SM contacts/friends, building like a pyramid scheme to a significant number.
 
The most expedient way of warning Labour MPs to avoid de-selection by the public at the next general election is to mobilise this army to tell them via Facebook, Twitter, etc., that any attempt to defeat Brexit or the essential parliamentary stages in Parliament will result in an overwhelming backlash via SM.
 
We could publish draft entries for those who prefer to copy and paste and we could raise some funds to place adverts on social media to get our message out even further (as the Russians did during the Trump election).
 
There is little time available to affect the above tactic but any progress in containing these treacherous MPs must be to our advantage.
 
September 2017

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