THERESA May faces a desperate race against time to be ready for Brexit after it emerged she still must pass more than 450 separate outstanding laws
THERESA May faces a desperate race against time to be ready for Brexit after it emerged she still must pass more than 450 separate outstanding laws.
A Sun probe reveals that in order for Britain’s statute book to be ready in time for March 29 MPs must approve an average of 17 separate pieces of legislation every day.
This means MPs must scrutinise a staggering 9,000 legal documents in the 27 remaining sitting days in Parliament before Brexit Day.
Commons sources said this scale of SIs rivals the total number passed during the First and Second World Wars.
Laying bare how behind the Government is with its timetable, just two thirds of these Statutory Instruments (SIs) – secondary legislation that transfers crucial EU powers back to Britain – have even been laid before Parliament.
Just 142 of the 600 SIs have been approved so far – with just 43 days until the deadline.
SIs are known as ‘Henry VIII’ powers as they allow ministers to bypass the usual scrutiny given to primary legislation and were used frequently by the 16th century King.
Earlier this week Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom – who is in charge of timetabling in the Commons – revealed the Government had laid 411 of 600 SIs.
But only 142 of those have been approved so far – leaving a total of 458 yet to be signed off.
This is in addition to the six brand new primary pieces of legislation that are still going through Parliament.
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And the top civil servant at the Department for Transport told MPs that time had become so squeezed now that each Whitehall department was being told to ration the number of SIs to be pushed through Parliament before Brexit Day.
A source close to the Commons Leader said: “411 have been laid and under 600 are required before exit day. We are making very good progress towards this and are confident that we will have a statute book fit for purpose when we exit the EU.
“This has been a priority for the Leader, who revolutionised the secondary legislation process, and continues to work closely with all Departments.”
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