Douglas Carswell

31 MAR 2017

Voters must decide which EU laws to repeal

The Great Repeal Bill is a bit of a misnomer. It's really a Great Transfer Bill. That's the right approach. How we change the law in the future should be up to voters to decide in the next election.

As the government's white paper sets out, the Great Repeal Bill will merely transfer EU law – the acquis communautaire – onto our statute books from the day we leave the EU.

It might seem strange to begin Brexit like this. But it's the best way – for three reasons.

First, it ensures a smooth transition.

Second, it makes negotiating a trade deal with the EU easier. European trading partners should know that regulatory parity won't end the moment we leave.

Third, and most importantly, voters should decide what laws to change.

I'd like the burden of regulation on small business to be lifted post-Brexit. Equally, I want to see stronger environmental protections – to reverse the damage done to our countryside by the Common Agricultural Policy.

But these aren't choices for MPs alone to make. They need to be put to the electorate in manifestos. The 2020 general election should be fought over competing visions for the kind of law and regulation we want.

Taking back control isn't for politicians. It's for the people.

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