Peter Bingle argues the introduction of a Great Repeal Bill means the odds on a general election and a substantial Tory overall majority next year have shortened drastically.

The PM’s announcement of a Great Repeal Bill whereby our parliamentarians will be asked to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act is a very astute move by Number 10.

It is the most dramatic sign yet that we are moving inexorably towards leaving the European Union. Those who doubted that the PM would deliver on Brexit now know that she intends to.

It also adds a democratic element to the Brexit process. Again those who feared that prime ministerial diktat would drive our departure from the EU should now feel reassured. Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March next year and parliament will then be asked to pass a Bill which reclaims our sovereignty from Brussels.

Most interestingly of all the proposed Bill provides the perfect political backdrop for a general election in 2017.

The reasons are subtle but actually rather obvious:

It is doubtful that there is a majority in the House of Commons in favour of repealing the 1972 Act. It follows that the PM will have a real challenge to secure safe passage in the House of Commons for the proposed Great Repeal Bill.

Even if a deal is patched together in the House of Commons it is hard to envisage the House of Peers supporting it. It will be delayed in a political quagmire. Will the PM really want to invoke the Parliament Act to secure the safe passage of the Bill?

If either of these two scenarios becomes a reality then there would be a fully-fledged constitutional crisis. In such circumstances the PM would be perfectly justified in asking Her Majesty to agree to an early general election. The Fixed Term Parliament Act wouldn’t be a problem as the Labour Party would have no option but to agree to an election. The Tories are likely to secure a very large majority at an early election

So the idea of a Great Repeal Bill is very smart politics indeed. The odds on a general election and a substantial Tory overall majority next year have shortened drastically.

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