Government re-assesses the Brexit bill plan to ditch EU laws

02 May 2023

The Daily Telegraph report that Kemi Badenoch is abandoning plans to review, junk, or retain all 4,000 pieces of retained EU law by the end of the year

The original timetable for scrapping “retained EU Law” (the category of law bestowed by EU Membership and transferred into domestic legislation by Theresa May’s 2018 EU Withdrawal Act).was the end of 2026. Truss promised 2023, and Sunak suggested “within 100 days” of becoming Prime Minister. Since the former won, 2023 it became – even if the REUL Bill was only actually introduced to the Commons on the day Sunak replaced her as Prime Minister. Badenoch is now the custodian of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s passion project.

The Bill, as originally planned, would revoke almost all EU-derived legislation by the end of 2023 via “sunset provisions”.

Originally, the Government thought there were 2,400 retained EU laws, until the National Archives found 1,400 down the back of the sofa. Businesses, trade unions, and lobby groups complained they would not know which laws were set to disappear until perilously close to the New Year’s deadline.

What Badenoch reportedly now intends to do is draw up a list of 800 undesirable EU laws to show to the Lords to grease the Bill’s passage. When asked for further bad laws they would like to see gone, ERG members could reportedly only come up with “product standards” – something Badenoch, as Business Secretary, was not wholly pleased to hear.

It may not be the Big Bang that some Brexiteers were hoping for. But it will end the supremacy of EU law and begin the process of deregulation in a way that doesn’t alienate businesses. 

Written by: LW