14 SEP 2017

EU (Withdrawal) Bill/Myanmar

Kent Messenger Column - 14-09-17 

My attentions this week are divided between home and away;

Here in the UK we move toward Brexit with much progress on The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. The Rule of Law is pervasive in modern Western life; It sets the legal parameters by which the shops in Week Street do business, how our farmers in the Weald grow and sell produce, how we behave on our busy roads in and around Maidstone each day.

As we prepare to repatriate the sovereign right to make our own law, we must make provision for all those laws that were created whilst we were members of the EU and that is why, this week, MPs have been sitting into the early hours to debate the issues involved.

The bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act which took us into the EU and, in doing so, copy all existing EU legislation created since that time into UK law. This effectively provides continuity and avoids a legal 'cliff-edge' on Friday 29th March 2019, the day after we leave the EU.

Whilst many laws and regulations will be incorporated into UK Statute with little or no amendment there will be some that will not fit so easily, and this has created controversy; How much power should the Government have to tweak as it sees fit? Doubtless the House will do what is needed to ensure adequate checks and balances are put in place as the bill progresses and I will be following the debate closely.

On the away front; my concerns are for a population twice the size of Maidstone Borough, who've fled their homes in Myanmar (Burma). The military are reportedly burning villages and attacking civilians on the basis that they are illegal Muslim immigrants. Political leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Siu Chi, a Buddhist, is being horribly silent. She, nor we, can ignore this atrocity.

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