Government plans to axe up to 4000 EU laws by the end of the year have reached an impasse after meetings with brexiteer MPs. In the revised plans, just 800 EU regulations will be scrapped as the Conservatives look to make the proposal palatable to the House of Lords.
In yet another setback for staunch brexiteers, the government announced that their proposal to discard all EU regulations was no longer feasible.
Concerns were raised at the rapidity and breadth of the proposed ‘bonfire’ of EU regulation as it removed protections on everything from workplace equality to environmental standards on drinking water.
Business Secretary Kemi Badonoch has said that the Retained EU Law Bill will focus on granting greater regulatory powers such as the controversial “sunset clause”— a clause removing retained EU laws not yet amended by the end of the year.
While the government has not denied reports of the legal impasse, their spokesperson stated that their top priority was granting freedoms back to the British people.
“The Bill will enable the country to further seize the opportunities of Brexit by ensuring regulations fit the needs of the UK,” said the government spokesperson. “[This will help] to grow our economy and drive innovation.”
Opposition constituents have questioned the bill’s ability to grant the government immediate un-democratic powers, such as the deletion of amendments. Speaking to the Guardian, Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, warned that sweeping powers always demand greater scrutiny.
“All those wanting to defend parliamentary sovereignty should be wary of the government using the promise not to delete vital rights,” she said speaking to the Guardian.
“[This is a] Trojan horse to get this legislation through parliament and then use the powers in it to destroy legislation later.”
The proposal’s inviability was strengthened further by accusations on both sides that Mrs. Badenoch did not have a grasp of all the laws the bill aimed to remove.
Of the 3,700 laws targeted by the Retained Bill, 1,700 were added in the last month. Since the European Union was founded (originally as the European Community in 1957), there have been over 100,000 legislative acts.
The Bill’s creator, MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, alleged that while Mrs. Badenoch is “one of the most dynamic ministers in the government,” she may not be capable of delivering the bill’s initial promises.
Therefore, the concern that the Conservatives could have missed ‘critical legislation’ in their push to ratify the bill is immense. Any further deliberation must head the wants of the British people if it is to succeed in the House of Lords.
Edited by: Alanna Fullerton
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