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Case

Relegating Parliament

In 1539, Henry VIII gained the right to legislate by decree, enabling him to bypass Parliament altogether. And now Boris Johnson, the man who has already tried and failed to suspend Parliament, is taking further cues on democracy from a Tudor King.

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Case overview

On leaving the EU, Henry VIII powers were originally intended to be used narrowly, to make technical changes to the statute book to ensure laws adopted inside the EU made sense outside it. We believe these narrow powers are being abused: Government says it can use them to abolish the entire state aid regime without parliamentary debate. But we think this is constitutionally offensive – and unlawful.