Watered down ‘Bonfire of Rights’ Bill will still cause “immense damage”

The Government is facing calls to drop the controversial Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill after it was reported that they are preparing to water down some of its key elements.

It has been reported that International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch told colleagues that the Government would scrap about 800 of the 4,000 statutes originally earmarked for repeal by the ‘Bonfire of Rights’ Bill and would not comment when asked if the ‘sunset clause’ would remain in the Bill.

Despite the partial climbdown, the Government’s plans to remove nearly 1,000 pieces of EU-derived legislation wholesale could still erode vital regulations and safeguards upholding workers’ rights, building safety codes, product safety standards and much more.

The Retained EU Law Bill has also triggered warnings from business leaders, workers’ rights organisations, and environmental and animal welfare advocates that scrapping EU laws en masse could lead to chaos, with businesses already operating in a challenging economic environment facing unprecedented uncertainty if environmental protections, workers’ rights and safety regulations are arbitrarily scrapped.

In November, at an evidence session on the Bill’s potential impact held by the UK Trade and Business Commission, a leading health and safety lawyer said the terms of the Bill were “crazy” and urged the Government to scrap it entirely.

Best for Britain Chief Executive Naomi Smith said: 

“Brexit has already caused immense damage to the UK and even watered down this Bill will cause more.

"Unless it is scrapped entirely, this Bill will automatically remove workers' rights, food standards and environmental protections by the end of the year while unleashing economic chaos in the UK.”