Archive for January, 2017

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill published

The long-awaited European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been published for public viewing.

The Bill sets out the intention for the Prime Minister to have the power to notify withdrawal under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

It is interesting to note the timing of publication of this Bill.

The Supreme Court has very recently ruled that Parliament must give the green light before Article 50 can be triggered.

It appears to mean that Theresa May cannot begin discussions with the EU before the vote in Parliament. The Supreme Court also ruled devolved bodies, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies, would not be consulted.

For more information, see the:

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A North East company prosecuted after workers were severely burned

A company PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd from Washington, Tyne and Wear, has been found guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

On 31 July 2014 two company employees suffered severe burns while working at a Hyclone UK ltd site in Cramlington. Workers were cleaning a pipe system using Sodium Hydroxide granules. When performing the task, the chemicals reacted with water, which caused the liquid to heat up and build up pressure within the hose. The pressure caused the hose to detach and sprayed the workers with hot solution causing life-threatening burns to one worker and severely burning the other.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation identified inadequate assessment of the risks for this task and the equipment provided from the employer to perform this job was not suitable for the solution, especially the hose as well as lack of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for it's employees. 

PSL Worldwide Projects Ltd was fined £150,000 by Newcastle Court. No costs were issued due to the company being in liquidation.

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Parliament must vote to trigger article 50 after ruling by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Government needs parliament's approval before article 50 can be triggered to start the UK's departure from the EU.

It was decided by the justices that the Government's executive powers, inherited through the royal prerogative, were not sufficient to uproot citizens' rights gained through parliamentary legislation such as the European Communities Act 1972.

The decision places the process of Brexit through parliament, handing over the authority to sanction the UK's withdrawal to MPs and peers.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the UK Government does not have to consult devolved assemblies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales before triggering article 50, which is not the usual convention.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, reading the summary stated:

“The 1972 [European Communities] Act provides that, whenever EU institutions make new laws, those new laws become part of UK law. The 1972 act, therefore makes EU law an independent source of UK law, until parliament decides otherwise.

Therefore, when the UK withdraws from the EU treaties, a source of UK law will be cut off. Further, certain rights enjoyed by UK citizens will be changed. Therefore, the government cannot trigger article 50 without parliament authorising that course.”

For more information see, the:

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