Major UK Government u-turn on scrapping EU laws post-Brexit

Major UK Government u-turn on scrapping EU laws post-Brexit

Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade Credit: Chris McAndrew/ Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

The UK Government has back-tracked today, May 10, on its plans to rid the UK of EU laws by the end of 2023.

In what Brexit supporters and opposition parties alike have denounced as a failure, the government has heavily limited the scope of the EU Retained Law Bill.

Rather than scrapping all EU laws at the end of 2023 (the so-called sunset clause) and having the heavy burden of replacing them all, Kemi Badenoch, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade has announced the Government will instead only revoke selected ones.

Despite opposition from Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, business leaders have welcomed the move. But until we know which laws will be revoked, some still fear the removal of workers’ rights and protections.

Steve Peers, an academic and expert on the European Union, posted a series of points, which can be read on Twitter saying:

“Here it is – the official govt U-turn on the retained EU law bill. But some employment law protections will be on the bonfire”.

Jane Gratton of the British Chambers of Commerce was quoted in the Independent as saying: “Firms will breathe a huge sigh of relief that steps are being taken to reduce the cumulative burden of red tape that have placed a stranglehold on their ambition and ramped up cost.”

Although some commentators believe the amendment to the EU Retained Law Bill will help clarify what will happen at the end of the year, others have suggested that the opacity remains, as we still don’t know which laws will be scrapped.

Labour MP Justin Madders said on Twitter: “The Tories have revealed their true colours by showing that their EU Retained Law Bill was always an exercise to water down workers’ rights.”

Ms Badenoch has argued though that the original bill, which was first introduced by Rees-Mogg, was very labour-intensive for the civil service.

Some have said that in a rush to scrap every EU Law at once and start a completely new chapter of the UK Statute Book, important legislation might be, by intent or simply by oversight, omitted.

Badenoch believes the new approach would prioritise “meaningful reform”.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.