Insights Government tables amendments to Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) (REUL) Bill

In a written Ministerial statement published on 10 May 2023, Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade, said that the Government is tabling an amendment for the Lords Report, which will replace the current sunset in the Bill with a list of the retained EU laws that the Government intends to revoke under the Bill at the end of 2023. In the statement, Ms Badenoch said that this “provides certainty for business by making it clear which regulations will be removed from our statue book, instead of highlighting only the REUL that would be saved”. She also said that the Government will retain powers in the Bill to continue to amend EU laws, so that more complex regulation can still be revoked or reformed after proper assessment and consultation.

The new list, inserted into the Bill before Schedule 1, contains around 600 pieces of legislation that will automatically be removed from the Statute book by the end of 2023 instead of the nearly 4,000 it previously said would be repealed.

In the statement, Ms Badenoch said: “Over the past year Whitehall departments have been working hard to identify retained EU law to preserve, reform or revoke. However, with the growing volume of REUL being identified, and the risks of legal uncertainty posed by sunsetting instruments made under EU law, it has become clear that the programme was becoming more about reducing legal risk by preserving EU laws than prioritising meaningful reform. That is why today I am proposing a new approach: one that will ensure ministers and officials can focus more on reforming REUL and doing that faster”.

The written statement goes on to say that the regulatory reform update, “Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy” (see item above) is the first in a series of updates on how the Government intends to reform regulations to support economic growth. It sets out improvements to the Better Regulation Framework to ensure that the Government only uses regulation where necessary and, where regulation is used, the impacts on wider government priorities including competition and innovation are understood.

The statement concludes by saying that “reforming and ending the special status of retained EU law in the UK is about making sure our laws work for the people who use them. Regulatory reform is integral to the Prime Minister’s mission to boost the UK economy; a mission that puts business, consumers, and the British public first”.

To read the written statement in full, click here. To read the amendments to the Bill, including the new Schedule of laws to be repealed by the end of 2023, click here.