Update on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
The Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons on 18 January, and had its first reading in the House of Lords on 19 January. It is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 6 February.
The House of Lords library has published a research briefing which, along with the main provisions of the Bill, points out that the Scottish and Welsh governments have both recommended that their respective Parliaments do not grant legislative consent to the Bill. It also notes that the government has made commitments as a matter of priority to take the necessary action to safeguard the substance of any retained law and legal effects required to operate international obligations within domestic law. The briefing also notes that MPs and groups representing business, trade unions and environmentalists have expressed concerns about the amount of retained EU law to be reviewed before the sunset deadline and whether some may end up being revoked inadvertently. They have highlighted a lack of clarity about what retained EU law the government intends to keep, particularly in the areas of employment, environmental and consumer protections.
Meanwhile, on 30 January, the government published a second iteration of the retained EU Law dashboard. This contains a list of the laws which will be revoked on 31 December unless a decision is made to preserve them. The first version of the dashboard was published on 22 June 2022 and listed 2,417 pieces of retained EU law. The second iteration lists 3,745 pieces of retained EU law.
There's still no indication of the government's intentions in relation to the, not insignificant, body of employment law which may be subject to revocation or change. We'll let you know when we get more information.