Rishi Sunak to face down Tory rebels who will join forces with Labour over Brussels regulations

Rishi Sunak to face down Tory rebels who will join forces with Labour to try and water down legislation to delete more than 4,000 Brussels regulations

  • Tory rebels will join forces with Labour in an effort to water down legislation 
  • No 10 insisted that ‘none of this work was about watering down standards 
  • PM told Cabinet removing EU red tape was creating economic opportunities

Plans for a bonfire of EU laws are ‘crucial’ to Britain’s economic recovery, Rishi Sunak said yesterday.

Tory rebels will join forces with Labour today in an effort to water down legislation that could lead to the deletion of more than 4,000 Brussels regulations this year.

But Downing Street yesterday said the Prime Minister was committed to the Retained EU law Bill, which started life under Boris Johnson’s administration.

The PM told the Cabinet that removing EU red tape was already creating economic opportunities in areas like gene-edited crops and financial services.

Plans for a bonfire of EU laws are ‘crucial’ to Britain’s economic recovery, Rishi Sunak said yesterday

Plans for a bonfire of EU laws are ‘crucial’ to Britain’s economic recovery, Rishi Sunak said yesterday

He said there was further scope for post-Brexit deregulation in areas like the creative, medical and farming sectors.

‘Developing the best regulatory environment in the UK will be crucial to accelerating our economic recovery and driving growth, innovation, and competitiveness as part of plans to build a better future across the country,’ he said.

No 10 insisted that ‘none of this work was about watering down standards, such as our strong record on workers’ rights, maternity rights, or environmental protection’.

But environmental campaigners last night warned that the proposals could remove vital protections.

And some Tory MPs are set to back an amendment today which would water down the proposal.

The PM told the Cabinet that removing EU red tape was already creating economic opportunities in areas like gene-edited crops and financial services

The PM told the Cabinet that removing EU red tape was already creating economic opportunities in areas like gene-edited crops and financial services

Thousands of EU laws were copied and pasted on to the UK statute book in order to save time when Britain left the EU.

Ministers are committed to reviewing all of them by the end of this year and ditching the ones that are no longer needed.

Experts believe more than 4,000 pieces of legislation could be affected.

No 10 yesterday declined to put a total figure on the exercise and could not say how many laws would be axed.

The PM’s spokesman said there was an ‘ongoing process’ to identify relevant legislation.

Labour MP Stella Creasy will lead efforts today to water down the plan by putting Parliament, rather than ministers, in control of the process.

Miss Creasy, chairman of the Labour Movement for Europe, said: ‘Whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, now MPs need to vote to take back control to parliament, rather than surrendering it wholesale to ministers.

‘The Government need to come clean on exactly which laws this bill covers so that MPs can make up their minds whether it is a good idea to give them wholesale control over these laws.’

Her amendment is backed by a number of senior Tories, including former Cabinet ministers David Davis, Caroline Nokes and Sir Robert Buckland.

Wildlife and Countryside Link – a coalition of nature and environmental organisations – yesterday released figures which estimate that dropping or weakening EU laws in just four sectors could cost £82 billion over 30 years.

But Business Secretary Grant Shapps said there was ‘absolutely no truth whatsoever’ in claims that key employment and environmental protections would be ditched.

Labour’s shadow business Justin Madders claimed that key measures such as holiday pay and maternity protections could be ditched.

But Mr Shapps responded: ‘There’s absolutely no truth whatsoever with this idea that employer rights or environmental rights or other rights will be scrapped and the sooner they stop peddling this stuff, the better.’

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