Deep concern at Retained EU Law Bill

Constitution Secretary writes to UK Government.

Environment, food and animal welfare standards are amongst thousands of laws now at risk because of the UK Government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson has warned.

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, published today in the House of Commons, seeks to revoke over 2,400 pieces of EU legislation that were included in the UK statute book at the end of the Brexit transition period.

In a letter to new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mr Robertson wrote of his deep concern at the wholesale ‘sun-setting’ of retained EU law by 31 December 2023, warning it “carries an unacceptably high risk that vital law, on which the smooth functioning of sectors of the economy and society depends, simply drops off the UK statute book”.

The introduction of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill risks removing restrictions on the use of decontaminants on meat, such as the chlorine washes on chicken and businesses’ minimum hygiene standards. It could also jeopardise protections in relation to the safety and compositional standards of baby foods.

Holiday pay, safe limits on working hours and parental leave could also become open to deregulation. The letter also warns that the bill represents a significant further undermining of devolution, by allowing UK Government ministers to act in policy areas that are devolved, and to do so without the consent of Scottish Ministers or the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Ministers are committed to aligning regulation in Scotland with EU regulation. Mr Robertson pressed the UK Government to reconsider the bill and its implications for the Devolved Governments.

The letter can be read in full online. 


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