UK to scrap 341 environmental laws in Brexit cull

31st May 2023

UK ministers have published a list of 600 EU laws that the government plans to scrap by the end of the year following Brexit, including 341 environmental laws.

This is far fewer than the 1,700 environment-related laws that were due to expire on 31 December under the ‘sunset’ clause in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

Rules relating to sustainable fisheries, and governing habitat regulations, are among the laws set to be scrapped, many of which date back to the 1980s.

The reasons given often simply state: “This regulation relates to a requirement/scheme/agreement which is no longer in operation, or is no longer relevant to the UK.”

Watering down plans to scrap EU laws has infuriated some Conservative backbenchers, with Sir William Cash arguing, in a letter to prime minister Rishi Sunak, that the move will hamper economic growth.

However, the British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the decision to remove the sunset clause in the Retained EU Law Bill, warning that the sudden removal of vast swathes of legislation overnight risked “unintended, but negative consequences”.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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