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Bill to ‘sunset’ EU laws – ReWAGE summary highlights need for scrutiny

This week the House of Lords will be continuing its debate on amendments to the EU Retained Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the so-called REUL Bill) which repeals EU-derived laws in the UK at the end of 2023.

The headline of the Bill is that it ‘sunsets’ (or turns off) nearly 4000 pieces of retained EU law, although it gives ministers powers to keep some legislation, delay the sunset on other legislation and reform yet other legislation.

It was introduced to speed up the process of reforming EU laws post-Brexit to make them more suitable for their operation in the UK.

ReWAGE expert Professor Catherine Barnard has written a summary of the Bill. This short paper acknowledges the need for expediency but also raises a number of issues, in particular highlighting the importance of clarity of policy, extensive consultation and effective parliamentary scrutiny.

The paper also makes several recommendations to support decision-makers in their consideration of EU-derived laws. These include carrying out further work to clarify what rules are being affected by the sunset and providing a comprehensive list of all those in scope; carrying out further impact assessment work; and reconsidering the powers given to ministers to determine the future of EU rules.

Wed 01 Mar 2023, 14:56