FM gives in: Will amend emergency Brexit law at MPs' insistence

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will get some control over an emergency law for the event of a no-deal Brexit. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is willing to make some of the amendments that parliament demanded. A large part of the Tweede Kamer called the law as it currently stands "undemocratic", NOS reports.

The emergency law gives the government more power if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with no agreement in place. Ministers can then implement and amend laws on their own initiative, without prior approval from the Tweede Kamer.

The Tweede Kamer believes that this law sidelines the parliamentarians and fears a "seizure of power", according to the broadcaster. Coalition parties CDA and D66 therefore asked that the law be amended on certain points. Firstly, adopted emergency laws must not apply for a year, but for six months. Such an emergency law must be sent to the Tweede Kamer within 24 hours, and must be approved by the Kamer within 10 weeks. If there is no approval, the measure must lapse.

During a debate on the emergency Brexit law on Thursday, Blok said that he is willing to implement the changes requested by the CDA and D66. 

Despite the criticism, many parliamentarians do see the necessity of an emergency law in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The British leaving the EU with no agreements in place "can have far-reaching consequences for the movement of people and goods", Blok emphasized during the debate. He hopes that the law will prove to be unnecessary, but finds it important to have some sort of "ultimate emergency brake" in place. "We can not exclude that something unexpected will happen", he said. 

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