As the Retained EU Law Bill goes through report stage in the Commons, our briefing sets out why it is problematic and why it should be scrapped.

Read the full briefing

The Retained EU Law Bill is deeply flawed. It places important rights and protections on a cliff-edge, meaning vast swathes of our laws, including significant environmental protections and workers’ rights would disappear at the end of this year unless saved by a minister.

This will create considerable legal uncertainty, and large quantities of otherwise unnecessary work for ministers and civil servants. Additionally, the Bill lacks crucial safeguards to ensure that laws which are important to our economy and society are not changed without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Government has failed to make a case for why this approach is necessary.

Moreover, the Bill is an affront to our constitutional principles, and its promise to restore democratic control over our statute book rings entirely hollow. In reality, the Bill would undermine parliamentary sovereignty and hand a blank cheque to Ministers to rewrite our laws.

We’re calling on MPs to scrap the Bill in its entirety.

Should the Bill proceed, we’re making recommendations to:

  • Ensure any powers granted to Ministers are amended so that they cannot be exercised without proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny, and where appropriate the consent of devolved authorities.
  • Reverse the operation of the ‘sunset’ (which would repeal EU-derived laws by default at the end of 2023), so that only identified legislation is revoked.
  • Ensure ministers have the power to extend the sunset for all rights, not just some.
  • Prevent anything disappearing at the sunset without consultations, impact reports, and parliamentary approval.
  • Require the courts to have regard to legal certainty before departing from retained EU case law.

Read the full briefing