Will the scaled down Brexit bonfire do anything more than smoulder...?

After just over a week of waiting, the Government yesterday confirmed that the plan to throw some 4,800 pieces of Retained EU Legislation (“REUL”) onto the bonfire at the end of this year has now been scaled back. Instead we will only lose in the region of 500-600 pieces of legislation, with all remaining REUL becoming English Law.

Whilst we don’t yet have the full list of legislation this will apply to, it will inevitably be a relief to many who, with just over 6 months to go until the end of the year, were concerned that the Bill might impact a wide range of things leading to increased cost and risk across the board or a reduction in employment rights.

We do know that reforms will be made to the working time directive and that new measures will be introduced to improve competitiveness, including a three month limit on non-compete clauses that can prevent workers from taking jobs with rival companies. Further, the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Procurement Bill will deal with around 500 pieces of REUL, although it is unclear where these 500 pieces sit within the overall 4,800 figure. 

As has been the case since the inception of this Bill, we are left with little clarity at this stage but the hope must be that now a decision has finally been taken, information can, and should, flow quickly from this point. The Bill is next due in the House of Lords on 15th of this month and, challenges aside (of which there are rumblings of many in the Tory party alone), let us now hope that the Bill can be progressed and legislation reviewed in a timely manner to provide much needed certainty to UK businesses and workers. 



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."

Kemi Badenoch


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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