Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed plan to end the EU’s jurisdiction over Britain could be “the worst idea in the history of the European Union”, MPs have warned.
“It is a completely non-sequitur to propose to leave the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who is also the party’s Brexit spokesman.
“We will have a referendum on that.”
Ms May will hold a second reading of her bill on Monday, and her plan will likely be the subject of much criticism, particularly in the party room, where her proposals are seen as being far-reaching.
Mr Farron said: “Theresa’s proposal to withdraw from the European convention on human rights, the so-called ‘Brexit bill’, is the most radical piece of legislation since Margaret Thatcher.”
It would strip the European Court of its powers and the European Parliament of its influence over British laws, and the UK’s international reputation as a trading nation would be greatly damaged.
“Mr Farion said Ms May’s bill would “open the door to a return to a customs union”, a trade deal that the US, Canada, Japan and Australia have all signed.
Ms May has repeatedly said she wants to leave and has said the government would not “take any decision that would be inconsistent with our desire to remain in the EU”.
“But the reality is it is going to be a very difficult and complicated process and there are going to have to be many twists and turns, and some very difficult votes.” “
She’s got a very good chance of getting this through Parliament,” said former Labour MP Simon Hughes.
“But the reality is it is going to be a very difficult and complicated process and there are going to have to be many twists and turns, and some very difficult votes.”
Mr Hughes said Ms Hay said she wanted to use her “powers of Brexit” to get rid of the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.
“Her idea of Brexit is just to make it so that the UK does not have a human rights regime,” he said.
“The only way we will be able to do that is by repealing the Human Right Act.”
Mr Hay also told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Monday that the “most important part of Brexit for the UK is the relationship with the European Community”.
“So the most important thing for the future is that we don’t have a border between the United Kingdom and the EU, because then we are effectively in the same relationship as we are now.”
He said he would be “disappointed” if the UK failed to get “the kind of rights that are necessary” from the EU.
“If we get into a customs arrangement, we’ll lose a lot of control over our borders,” he told Marr.
“And if we have a customs agreement with the EU with the customs on the back of a tariff arrangement, that means that we’ll be paying more into the European budget.”
The UK would also lose access to the Single Market if the bill becomes law.
Ms Hay has repeatedly warned that she wants the UK to retain control over its borders, as she did in her Brexit speech.
“You’re not going to get that control by moving to the single market,” she said.