Thank you to everyone who contacted me about the EU Retained Law Bill.
I’ve received a huge number of constituent emails on this issue, and I absolutely share your concern about this Bill, which gives enormous power to the government to repeal and amend — but not improve — vast swathes of rights and regulations.
Now that we are out of the European Union, there is a perfectly reasonable case for reviewing retained laws to decide whether any should be reformed or repealed. Yet my concern is that, in a race to appease dogmatic Conservative backbenchers, the government appears hellbent on rushing through this Bill without any due consideration for the potential consequences.
Including a ‘sunset clause’ that simply repeals laws by default by the end of 2023 is a recipe for chaos and dysfunction, and a threat to hard-won rights and protections such as the ones you highlighted in your email.
Even more shockingly, at present the government are attempting to rush through this law without even telling parliament which laws would be within its scope. That means the Conservative MPs that vote for it will effectively be writing a blank cheque to the government to decide for themselves at a later date, cutting MPs completely out of the process. It’s an appalling betrayal of the parliamentary sovereignty we were promised would result from Brexit.
If we are going to reform or repeal retained EU laws, many of which have been part of UK law for decades, it must be a for a good reason, and not just on the whims of fanatical Tory MPs.
Please know that I will always stand up for protecting our hard-won rights, which is why I voted against the Bill in the Commons.