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Thursday, July 13, 2017

The chocolate orange syndrome

How much chaos is the UK Government in over Brexit? I only ask because with every new story it appears that their whole approach is a shambles.

Ministers have now published their Great Repeal Bill designed to unbundle EU laws and turn them into domestic legislation. However, judging by the initial reaction to it the Bill leaves a lot to be desired. As Keir Starmer says in the Guardian:

“We have very serious issues with the government’s approach, and unless the government addresses those issues, we will not be supporting the bill,” Starmer said.

He said Labour would demand concessions in six areas. These include ensuring that workers’ rights in Britain do not fall behind those in the EU; incorporating the European Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law; and limiting the scope of so-called “Henry VIII powers”, which could allow the government to alter legislation with minimal parliamentary scrutiny.

There is a very real possibility that this bill will fail to become law. And then there is the UK Government's poor state of preparedness which has come under attack from the head of the National Audit Office:

In an unprecedented intervention Sir Amyas Morse said Whitehall departments are being left to "struggle on their own" with the challenges of Brexit because of a failure of leadership and direction.

He said the Government could "come apart like a chocolate orange" unless departments are given more support, as he warned Mrs May that Brexit poses the "biggest challenge" since the Second World War.

Departments should not be left to decide which of the many projects they are in charge of to prioritise by themselves, the head of the financial watchdog added.

Sir Amyas also revealed that David Davis's Brexit department failed to show him a plan for how leaving the EU will work, despite his requests, and could only offer a "vague" explanation as to why it was unable to.

"Government will need to be fast and flexible and act in a unified way," he said. "We have an issue here because of departmental Government and what we don't want to find is that at the first tap it comes apart like a chocolate orange ...It raises questions about whether this unified approach is actually happening".

Personally, I am very fond of chocolate oranges. I am less fond of the shambles that Theresa May's government is leading us into.
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