Plans to burn EU laws have been derailed by claims that it will render British goods ‘unsellable in Europe.’
As Brexit opportunities Minister Jacob Rees Mogg is said to have told cabinet that he plans to introduce a five-year expiry date for approximately 1,500 pieces of EU regulatory legislation, the Government has been developing plans to set an expiry date for remaining EU laws.
However, lawyers and business groups have warned that any “one-size-fits-all” changes risk increasing business complexity and uncertainty.
According to Eleonor Duhs, a lawyer who worked on the 2018 EU withdrawal act, a “self-imposed cliff-edge for retained EU law is a recipe for potential chaos.”
“This proposal has the potential to drive investment away from the UK at a time when we desperately need it,” she said.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warned against “deregulation for the sake of deregulation.”
The BCC’s head of trade policy, William Bain, told the Independent that complicating the UK/EU trading relationship could make British goods “unsellable.”
“We should not complicate our trading relationship by diverging so far that UK goods and services are unsellable in Europe,” he said.
The government intends to use the upcoming “Brexit freedoms” bill to repeal EU regulations.
According to the Times, this will be accomplished by enacting a “sunset clause.”
This will compel ministers to adhere to the remaining laws, amend them, or repeal them entirely by the end of the five-year period.
Mr. Rees-Mogg is said to have told the cabinet earlier this month about his plan to make 1,500 pieces of EU legislation expire.
This is intended to “force radical thinking” from government agencies.
Jonathan Jones QC, the former Government’s legal chief who resigned in protest of the government’s Brexit policy, was harshly critical of the plan.
Mr Jones told the Independent that it was “potentially very dangerous,” because it would be difficult for parliament and other relevant industries to scrutinise one another.
He said: “Having sunset clauses in a blanket way for huge amounts of legislation is a very bad idea.
“To change swathes of the law automatically is a recipe for uncertainty for businesses and consumers and everyone else.