Of course the quote “Oh what a tangled web we weave…” finishes off “…when first we practice to deceive”. Now I am sure I am not the only one who thought this was from Shakespeare – in my mind “Midsummer Night’s Dream” which of course is full of mistaken identities etc. It is not however, it is in fact of much later origin and comes from the epic poem “Marmion” penned by Sir Walter Scott in 1808 about the Battle of Flodden. I have no doubt my colleague Sue McNicol would in any event have corrected me!
The only reason I quoted this was because this was my first thought when the so-called Department for Exit from the European Union (DEXEU) published “The Great Repeal Bill “ as it has come to be known – although officially it is called “The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017” but it is so-named because it is as important as Henry VIII’s Great Repeal Bill, enacted after his split with Rome and his move to become head of the Church of England as then was.
Whilst no-one is going to the scaffold or the stake over their opposition to this major piece of legislation, it appears that the appeals by the our embattled Prime Minister and David Davis the Brexit Minister, for co-operation and consensus fell on pretty deaf ears as within hours, all opposition parties in Westminster had condemned the Bill and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales had declared their opposition as well. The main purpose of the Bill is to transpose 40 years of EU legislation into domestic UK Legislation and substitute EU institutions for UK ones. The main opposition arises from the fact that under the Bill, Ministers will have the right to change details in the Regulations without reference to Parliament and with such a slim majority, the temptation to make changes that don’t have to be debated and voted on is gong to be hard for this Government to resist. In addition of course, the election results have meant that the Remainers in Parliament on the government side have become emboldened, whilst Labour still appear to be havering around what they actually want from the negotiations. Hence the “Tangled web..” reference.
The good news is that it appears all consumer legislation relating to our industry will be transposed into UK law so consumers will continue to be protected. Where we end up on Brexit regards the bigger picture – remains to be seen.
Just to finish – I read in the online Washington Post 14th July, that the creator of “Game of Thrones” (7th season about to start) George RR Martin, based the theme of the original series on the Wars of the Roses in 15th century England. I seem to recall in a blog this time last year, also drawing an analogy between that event and the goings-on in the Conservative Party following the Brexit vote and Cameron’s resignation. Great minds think alike as they say!