Brexit rebellion hits Rishi Sunak as Tory MPs join with Labour to revolt over plan to remove EU laws

Rishi Sunak is facing growing pressure from MPs over his plans for EU-derived laws
Rishi Sunak is facing growing pressure from MPs over his plans for EU-derived laws

Ex-Brexit secretary David Davis and Sir Robert Buckland are part of a cross-party bid calling on the Government to outline the laws it plans to scrap, amend or keep

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Rishi Sunak’s plans to scrap thousands of EU laws by the end of the year is being met with backlash from a number of Tory MPs over fears it will erode Parliamentary sovereignty.

Ex-Brexit secretary David Davis and Sir Robert Buckland are part of a cross-party bid calling on the Government to outline the laws it plans to scrap, amend or keep.

The British statute books contain around 4,000 pieces of legislation that are originated from EU laws.

Many MPs harbour concerns that laws are set to be automatically scrapped without scrutiny.

A cross-party amendment to the Retained EU Law Bill has a number of Tory MP signatories, including David Buckland, Dan Poulter and Sir Bob Neill.

Buckland told The Times: “I understand that this bill is an important next stage in terms of clarifying the law and making sure the regulations we need are retained.”

Labour MP Stella Creasy is leading on the amendment, which will be debated next week.

David Davis is among MPs calling on the Government to make its plans clear on EU-derived laws.
David Davis is among MPs calling on the Government to make its plans clear on EU-derived laws.

She said: “If this bill goes through, it will drive a coach and horses through Parliamentary sovereignty - something we were told would be improved by Brexit.

“It gives ministers, not MPs, the control of very thousands of laws that cover everyday life - when my constituents come to me asking whether they will have maternity rights, or clean water to drink, or even the right to paid holiday in a year’s time, I want to be able to tell them that decision will rest with MPs, not ministers and civil servants.”

Ministers will have to choose which pieces of EU-derived law they want to retain, scrap or change by December, with the Government committing to removing about 4,000 pieces.

The scale of the task has resulted in many within Whitehall seeing the deadline as impossible.

Internal estimates suggest thousands of officials will have to be diverted to review legislation on a full-time basis.

Peers have also raised significant concerns about the plans, resulting in a senior Government source telling The Times that it is inevitable the Government will have to abandon its plans once the legislation reaches the Lords.

They said: “If the object is to review and review all these regulations properly rather than just cut and paste them into UK law then we’ll need more time.

“It’s an entirely arbitrary deadline.”