The Retained EU Law Bill threatens chaos. A new regime may just create an opportunity to drop it. It matters but does your MP know? Ronnie Cohen has written to his.
There is currently a bill going through Parliament called the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The innocuous sounding title belies the disruptive, and potentially devastating, effects that it could have on all walks of life in the UK.
Under a so-called sunset clause, this legislation will start a time fuse, set to go off on 31 December 2023, when at a stroke over 2,400 UK laws and regulations, made over a 47 year-period, will automatically be revoked – unless Ministers actively decide to save specific regulations before the cut-off date. Decades of legislation will be undone without scrutiny or debate. The move has been widely-branded as being anti-democratic by legal experts.
Nobody has explained what is wrong with any of these EU laws or why they must all be reformed or scrapped. The Government has not published any impact assessments on the effects of keeping, reforming or scrapping these laws.
The regulations affected are to be revoked for no other reason than they were made as a result of agreement with our neighbouring countries, largely in the interests of adopting common standards, protections and rights necessary for the facilitation of smooth trade with our neighbours. Regardless of their being approved by the Governments of the day, such regulations are now being treated by default as undesirable. Their removal, without Parliamentary scrutiny, is being hailed as a “benefit of Brexit”.
Rather than addressing individual regulations with full scrutiny and proper debate, as was envisaged by Theresa May when the concept of “EU retained law” was first mooted, legal experts have warned that swathes of laws including equal pay for men and women, workers’ rights, environmental protections, food standards and aviation safety rules could accidentally disappear, or be redrafted poorly.
The scope of this Bill is so huge that the (still ongoing) audit has led the Government to create an interactive database or “dashboard” to navigate the affected legislation:
The Hansard Society provides an overview to explain why this Bill is flawed:
Getting rid of these laws is motivated by hardcode Brexiteers’ hatred of the EU in the Conservative Party. “We hate the EU” is not a valid reason to get rid of these laws.
Please can you do all you can to oppose this bill?
The author is Secretary of the UK Metric Association. Further details on ukma.org.uk.
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