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BEERG Newsletter - UK: Concern over dumping of EU laws

Concern is mounting in the UK over government plans to dump some 4,000 pieces of legislation based on EU laws by the end of 2023, unless ministers expressly decide to keep them. The legislation was tabled by the arch-Brexiteer, Jacob Rees-Mogg while he was business secretary in the short-lived Truss government. He lost his position when Rishi Sunak succeeded Truss. But given the state of UK politics, you never know. He could be back again if Sunak in turn is ousted. 

The government's independent regulation watchdog, the regulatory policy committee (RPC), has described the impact assessment for the plans as “not fit for purpose.” The RPC said: “We are not assured that the impact of changing or sunsetting each piece of [retained EU legislation] will be calculated or understood under proposals currently in place – particularly where no related secondary legislation is required.”

More than a dozen organisations including the Institute of Directors (IoD), Trades Union Congress and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned the government that the move would “cause significant confusion and disruption” for businesses, workers, consumers and conservationists. In a letter sent to current business secretary Grant Shapps, the groups warned that dumping EU laws would cause significant uncertainty for businesses.

The letter is the latest sign that business is taking a more robust approach to the continued disruption from Brexit. CBI boss Tony Danker this week urged ministers to put aside political motives to seek improvements to the UK’s existing trade deal with the EU. Roger Barker, director of policy and governance at the IoD, said the bill created unnecessary uncertainty for businesses in the UK when they were facing “more pressing issues” given the stalling economy.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady described the legislation as “a recipe for chaos”, adding: “This bill has been rushed through with no consultation and no real thought for the impacts on workers, businesses, consumers and the environment.” It has also been suggested that the dumping of the laws could undermine the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK which provides for a “level playing field” between the two sides when it comes to social, labour and environment laws and product standards. In the TCA, the UK committed not to deviate from all social and employment laws in force at the date of it coming into force. Data adequacy could also be at risk.

Meanwhile, an article from Lewis Silkin LLP considers the rights of British citizens to access the Schengen Area as visitors post-Brexit for leisure, business and work purposes. It highlights some of the compliance and planning issues of which employers and individuals should be aware.

  • What is the difference between the European Union and the Schengen Area?
  • Are British citizens entitled to access and reside in the Schengen area?
  • How is the 90/180-day rule applied in practice?
  • What sanctions can be applied if a person overstays?
  • Are British citizens entitled to work in the Schengen Area?
  • What should employers do to ensure compliance with the applicable legal framework?

 

Tom Hayes has written a Brexit Briefing, setting out how he sees the post-Brexit debate in the UK. The Brexit Briefing can be found on the HR Policy Global website Here and also on Tom’s BEERG Brexit Blog: Here

 

Published on: November 30, 2022

Authors: Tom Hayes

Topics: The UK and European Union

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

Detailed Bio

Contact Tom Hayes LinkedIn

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