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Britain scales back EU laws ‘bonfire’ plan
House of Commons Pic: Shutterstock

11 May 2023 / brexit Print

Britain scales back EU laws ‘bonfire’ plan

The Law Society of England and Wales has welcomed a decision by the British Government to scale back plans for what had become known as the ‘bonfire bill’ to remove pieces of legislation associated with EU membership.

Ministers confirmed yesterday (10 May) that a planned ‘sunset clause’ in the Retained EU Law Bill 2022 (REUL) would be replaced by a list of laws to be revoked by the end of the year.

According to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, Law Society President Lubna Shuja described it “the right decision”, adding that it should provide some certainty for businesses, lawyers and citizens.

“We await the list being published. It is essential there is sufficient time to review affected legislation and consider the repercussions in all areas of law,” Shuja said.

Legal risk

In a written parliamentary statement, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said that departments had been working hard over the past year 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,” Badendoch stated.

The Gazette says that more than 1,000 EU laws have been revoked since the Britain left the EU.

As well as around 600 laws that the British government proposes to revoke directly through the REUL bill, the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Procurement Bill will revoke another 500 pieces of retained EU law.

It has been estimated that almost 4,000 laws could have been affected by the bill.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland