The government has tried to provide assurance that these delegated powers will not be excessive or inappropriate with a number of measures:
- The bill specifies delegated powers may not be used to impose taxes, create a criminal offence, or repeal the Human Rights Act 1998
- Most of the delegated legislation will be subject to the "affirmative procedure" which makes it easier for MPs who are unhappy with a proposal to challenge it - although some, including the power to modify exit fees, will not be.
- The "sunset clause" means powers delegated in the bill expire two years after the UK leaves the European Union - on the current schedule that means they expire in March 2021.
Nevertheless I would like to hear a public debate about whether the proposed two-year sunset clause is the right period of time - is it long enough to get everything through, is it too long - and I hope and suspect there will indeed be such a debate on whether the safeguards on this bill are the right ones.