Especially Clause 7, 8, 9 and 17 of the EU Bill (get the full picture of all delegated powers under the future EU Bill, see here) put ministers in a position as legislator.
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This week Brexit is back on the agenda of the two Houses of Parliament in the UK.
The Lords (30th and 31st January) and the MPs (31st January) discussed “The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill” (EU Bill) or also known as “The Great Repeal Bill”.
Particularly clause 17 of the EU Bill, whereby the ministers of the Crown may make by regulation changes to legislation “as the minister considers appropriate in consequence of this Act”, is very vague.
Additionally, only clause 8 and 9 contain sunset clauses while the other Henry VIII clauses are unlimited.
The EU treaties contain provisions quite like the British Henry VIII powers, too.
Just recently the EU also experienced that the EU version of Henry VIII powers for usually technical matters like the renewal of authorisations to use herbicides can be highly political. 290 and 291 of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) the European legislator can empower the commission to enact so-called implementing or delegated acts.There are few legislative assemblies in Europe which can call themselves with proud sovereign.The Principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty is the most important part of UK constitutional law.The current design of the EU Bill with its numerous Henry VIII clauses does not really appear as the right way to restore parliamentary sovereignty and to end the excessive use of Henry VIII powers in EU regulation matters.It is also not without irony that the UK is leaving the EU because many politicians promised to give back control to the British people while at the same time the British Government provides itself with powers to create the bright future outside the EU without the parliament.The idea behind all these types of Henry VIII provisions is a balancing act between efficient and democratic legislation which some argue wasn’t always that balanced in the UK and also on EU level (you can listen here to the former Lord Justice of England and Wales, Lord Judge on Henry VIII clauses on BBC Radio 4).