Brexit bill: People’s rights must be placed centre stage

Today the UK government fired the starting gun on the biggest change to our legal system for more than 40 years – the unravelling of our relationship with the European Union. The Law Society of England and Wales and solicitor profession will work tirelessly with all parties to ensure people’s rights are put centre stage.

“Transposing vast swathes of legislation accumulated across four decades is an eye-watering undertaking and we must make sure that in the process hard won rights are not lost,” said Law Society of England and Wales president Joe Egan.

“The publication of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill throws up opportunities – but it also throws up risks. Risks to the stability of the economy, the level of scrutiny we expect from our parliament, to the many opportunities and rights our EU membership has guaranteed.

“So in this context we are offering to convene the considerable expertise available in the legal profession to help politicians of all parties as they commence this vast task.”

The Law Society has several key calls:

· Guarantee fundamental rights
· Ensure access to justice through continued co-operation with the EU
· Maintain legal certainty during this period of upheaval
· Protect the strength of legal services which underpins the UK economy

“The challenge ahead is immense but solicitors stand ready to work with all sides to ensure that Britain’s future is bright,” said Joe Egan.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is intended to ensure the same rules apply on the day after Brexit – while giving the UK parliaments the power to change them.

“We are glad that David Davis has said he will ‘work with anyone’ to make this a success and we are ready to play our part,” added Joe Egan.

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