SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has expressed concern at the Assembly being asked to ‘rubber-stamp’ legislation relating to Brexit without proper scrutiny. The Mid Ulster MLA is a member of the Assembly Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
Mr McGlone said, “The Assembly is currently being asked to approve secondary legislation relating to Brexit from Westminster in the form of Statutory Instruments (SIs).
“These SIs are supposed to receive proper scrutiny through the Assembly Committees as part of the democratic process.
“A large number of the SIs currently being processed are little more than a title on a page with no detail of their content or their implications.
“There is usually less than a week between the Committee receiving the title of the SI and the date at which it is due to become law and, on occasion, that is due to happen on the same day as the Committee receives notice.
“The rush to get the Assembly to rubber-stamp all the SIs required by Westminster for Brexit without proper scrutiny is a cause for concern.
“The British Government ignored our call for an extension to the transition period and they are now trying to bounce the Assembly into approving unscrutinised legislation to meet their deadline.
“It is an unacceptable abuse of democracy and it cannot be allowed to continue without protest.”