Retained EU Law Bill update

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 22nd September 2022 and at the time, aimed to remove retained EU law from the statute books by the end of 2023. This meant that between 2,400 and 3,700 retained EU laws to which this bill applies, were lined up to be ‘sunsetted’ on 31 December 2023 if they were not retained elsewhere by an introduction of specific legislation. A general abolition of general principles of EU law from the end of 2023 is also set to happen.

Campaigners including The Law Society were concerned that a number of employment and environmental rights could simply disappear. In the last week of April, Kemi Badenoch, trade secretary, briefed Eurosceptic MPs in the European Research Group on the position, and it is now being reported that the laws to be removed have now been reduced to “800 statutes and regulations” by the government. The Retained EU Bill is currently at report stage and is expected to return to the House of Lords on 15 May.

Among the many concerns are that the number of laws affected by this bill has increased after another 1,700 laws were added to the ‘dashboard’ and that there simply is not time for each law to be scrutinised and updates or recommendations drafted in relation to each one before the end of the year. Campaigners are warning that despite this reduction in laws from nearly 4,000 to only 800, many laws will simply disappear from the statute books, crucial and hard-won rights are at risk and uncertainty still prevails.

Law Society Vice president Nick Emmerson is quoted as saying in response to this reporting, 'We are relieved the government has listened to the Law Society and others who have called for a rethink of this legislation. While we wait to see which pieces of legislation will be set for removal, it is a positive step for business certainty that the government will provide much needed clarity on the future of individual aspects of retained EU law. Government should publish the full, exhaustive list of every piece of legislation at risk without delay.'

Posted on 05/03/2023 by Ortolan

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