Some people will try tell you that words don’t hold any power. These are people you should be wary of.
Words can inspire. Words can bind. Words can set us free.
Today we have triggered Article 50, giving notice to the European Union. It is from listening to the words of campaigners and the media that has led us to this moment and it is words that have bound us to this decision. Today we’ve gone through the looking glass into the unknown. We’re entering unchartered territory and no one knows exactly what will happen going forward.
Tomorrow the government publishes The Great Repeal Bill. What meaning do you see in the name of this bill?
Great: Considerably large in size.
Repeal: Revoke or annul.
The Great Repeal Bill, according to Theresa May, will be the mechanism under which we repeal the European Communities Act 1972. It’s initial function is to bring existing EU law into British Law, following which it will be up to Parliament to decide which of these laws to keep, which to change and which to scrap.
There are thousands of EU laws that affect all areas of our life. Rights, standards and regulations.
The Great Repeal Bill. The bill to revoke or annul a considerably large amount of EU law.
Maybe the name of this bill appeals to leave voters. I don’t think it should. The words in this bill will change and shape our future for years to come and we’ve given parliament the power to chop and change the law in the favour of whoever they represent.
They should represent us. I don’t think they do.
During the debates for the Article 50 bill opposition MPs tabled a number of amendments that would enshrine protections for certain elements of EU law into British law. They were asking for a promise from the government. A promise that we would not lower environmental standards or safety standards, or protections from discrimination, or that the government would fulfil the promise of £350 million for the NHS once we leave. The opposition was asking for certainty on important issues and the government’s response was to shoot these amendments down and accuse the other side of trying to delay the triggering of the bill and frustrating the will of the British people.
“Trust us, trust us, once we leave we can have better standards, this issue is for discussion in The Great Repeal Bill, trust us, trust us.”
The government would not give a legal promise to protect any of the rights, regulations and standards. They want us to have faith they will do the right thing when the time comes.
But if you voted to leave; do you trust our government? Look around you; look at what the Tories have done to this country over their last seven years in power.
The Great Repeal Bill. Why call it that? The implication of those words cannot be clearer. Does the government intend to repeal a large amount of EU law? We don’t really know. We know nothing.
So for everyone who voted to leave; I have a message. Your job isn’t done.
You’ve given the establishment the finger by voting to leave and in doing so you have handed the Tory party an immense amount of power to shape the future of Britain. Is that what you voted for? Does it not make your blood boil when the government says that they were not part of the leave campaign and so are not beholden to any of its promises?
For those who voted leave surely you cannot think that casting one vote in protest of the way things are and then sitting back and letting corrupt politicians decide our future is enough? If you voted leave because you felt disenfranchised, not listened to, ignored and left to rot by the establishment then now is the time to act.
There is one thing I agree with Theresa May on; we need to unite. We need to unite. Together we are stronger, together we are powerful. Together we can hold the establishment to account. We need to look for the opportunities to use our collective voice to demand the Britain we want.
I for one am fed up of feeling powerless in the face of entrenched power structures. In the face of uncertainty we, the people, have the choice to shape our own future; we just have to act. We have to realise our own power and demand that our government works for us.
In his 1791 book “The Rights of Man” Thomas Paine said; of the English constitution:
“Can then Mr. Burke produce the English Constitution? If he cannot, we may fairly conclude, that though it has been so much talked about, no such thing as a constitution exists, or ever did exist, and consequently that the people have yet a constitution to form.”
This statement remains true to this very day.