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Constitution and governance

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What are the Henry VIII powers?

Henry VIII clauses are provisions sometimes included in Acts of Parliament to allow ministers to make changes to not only secondary legislation but also primary legislation (Acts of Parliament), without having to go through the full process that an Act of Parliament would normally require. In the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, there are several instances of ministers taking these powers, which have been used to update legislation to prepare for Brexit. These powers derive their name from The Statute of Proclamations in 1539, in which Henry VIII gained the right to pass laws directly, bypassing parliament.

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