Take a piece of paper with you with the following questions to keep you on track:
i. What are you going to say?
We suggest something like:
Unamended, the EU Withdrawal Bill is an almost unprecedented threat to our democracy. MPs must vote to amend it to stop the attempted powergrab
Freedoms, including human rights, workers’ rights, environmental protections and consumer protections could all be under threat without proper scrutiny. We want a guarantee that these won't be undermined using the powers for ministers in the bill.
- If your MP wants to discuss the new sifting committee - It is temporary - applying only to the Withdrawal Bill - it’s only advisory (it can’t force the government to do anything), and will leave MPs with little opportunity for robust scrutiny. It’s little more than window-dressing.
If your MP mentions the government’s amendments to limit the scope of delegated powers, say that it gives with one hand and takes with another. One of these amendments actually let’s ministers define what powers they need to ‘address deficiencies’ in retained EU law. Additionally, the Henry VIII power in Clause 7(4) enables the bill itself to be amended.
REMEMBER: It's not your job to know the details of every clause and amendment, your concern should be enough for your MP to listen, and it's their job to reassure you that they're making sure the government don't come out of this with huge new powers.
ii. What are you going to ask them to do?
This will depend on your MPs position, but you want them to support amendments restricting "Henry VIII" or delegated powers.
If they have already spoken out about the bill, ask them what they’re doing to raise the profile of the bill.
It’s worth doing some quick research to see your MPs current position on the bill, you can google “My MP repeal bill”.
iii. How are you going to convince them to take action?
This is a bonus one. As a constituent, your MP should take account of your opinions, but if you can mention examples of policies they are interested in that could be affected (e.g. countryside for rural MPs, air pollution for urban ones), you should get their attention. Ask if them if they really want to be fighting to stop a bonfire of regulations once it’s too late?
Iv. Ask them what you can do to help them with the issue
e.g. do they have follow up questions that Unlock Democracy can help with?