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Pro EU protesters hold a placard that reads 'Stop the Brexit Mess' outside Parliament in London

Fisheries bill falls after Parliament's suspension

Click on the flag for more information about United Kingdom UNITED KINGDOM
Monday, September 16, 2019, 00:00 (GMT + 9)

Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament means 13 high-profile government bills have been lost, including a law protecting victims of domestic abuse and key pieces of post-Brexit legislation.

When Parliament is prorogued all existing bills making their way through the Commons and Lords are dropped, unless the government chooses to carry them over to the next session.

YouTube: British Parliament ended in pandemonium (TheSun)

Only three pieces of legislation were carried over, meaning laws setting up post-Brexit arrangements for immigration, fishing, trade and agriculture as well as bills reforming divorce law, introducing tougher sentencing for animal cruelty and protecting public toilets all fell.

The bills can be re-introduced after Parliament returns on 14 October if the government chooses to do so but all progress made is lost and MPs and peers must start their scrutiny from scratch.

Preparing for Brexit

There are five Brexit-related bills that have dropped off, some of which were seen as important preparation for Brexit day, particularly in a no-deal scenario.

They cover trade, immigration, agriculture, financial services and fisheries.

Fisheries Bill

Shadow fisheries minister Luke Pollard said the Fisheries Bill was a "day one necessity" in the event of a no-deal Brexit and that there is no chance of passing the necessary legislation due to prorogation.

He called the loss of progress "a betrayal of coastal communities".

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers - who was responsible for the Agriculture and Fisheries bills - told a House of Commons committee on Monday that she was "enthusiastic about reintroducing them soon".

Maddy Thimont Jack, senior researcher at the Institute for Government, said "workarounds" would mean the Brexit bills would not be needed immediately in a no-deal scenario but that these would only "plug the gaps" and the legislation would be needed "pretty soon".

The National Farmers' Union called the fall of the Agriculture Bill as "totally unreasonable", adding that there is now "no guarantee at all that the legislation will be in place to enable the government to begin its planned transition to a new farm support system in 2021".

With a general election on the horizon, Parliament will be closed again. The Brexit bills will either need to be passed quickly - limiting scrutiny - or face another delay.

Author: Laurence Sleator & Daniel Kraemer/ BCC (read the whole article here)


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