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UK government scraps plan to replace all EU laws by the end of 2023 | Politics News

The UK government has poured cold water on a planned “bonfire” of EU regulation promised under Conservative prime ministers last year.

The Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill was introduced under Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg with the intention of removing all EU legislation from the UK by the end of 2023.

Kemi Badenoch, the business and trade secretary, has now revealed that fewer than 600 laws will be disapplied using the bill by the end of the year – with thousands more remaining on the statute books.

It is thought at least 4,000 EU laws apply to the UK, but the exact figure is hard to pin down – more than a thousand were discovered in the National Archives last year which the government had not previously considered.

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Instead of looking for laws that need to be saved, the government will instead keep existing laws and look for those it can remove without causing problems.

Ms Badenoch told Parliament in a written statement: “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 move will likely infuriate eurosceptic MPs who wanted to withdraw the UK from the EU’s influence.

The caucus was told last month that the plans to scrap swathes of laws had been changed.

Boris Johnson and Ms Truss were both keen to ditch EU law in their times in office, but it has become increasingly apparent Rishi Sunak did not think this was feasible.

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