The UK has published plans to scrap all EU laws from environmental protections to workers’ rights and replace them with UK equivalents.
Brexit secretary David Davis published details of the Great Repeal Bill on Thursday, the day after the government triggered Article 50 and begun the formal negotiations for the UK to leave the European Union.
The wide-ranging bill will essentially “copy and paste” EU laws in UK law and will come into effect the day after the UK leaves the EU in two years’ time. Once the laws currently enshrined in the EU become domestic UK legislation, the government will be able to amend or scrap those it does not like without EU consent or oversight from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The Commons library anticipates to transposition of laws to the UK will be “one of the largest legislative projects ever undertaken in the UK”
Critics have voiced concerns that the government may use the opportunity of law repatriation to strip UK workers of rights, reduce consumer protections, and cut regulations on pollution. Others have warned that despite the upbeat demeanour coming from Downing Street, and claims by Davis that the UK has contingencies in place for every eventuality, the government does not grasp the difficulties they will face as the smaller negotiating partner against the EU.
The SNP’s Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins said:
“It strikes me that the government has pushed the big red button marked Brexit with their fingers crossed and very little idea of what comes next.”
Davis said the bill will mean all laws will be made in the UK and interpreted by British judges, not those in Luxembourg. These UK judges are the same ones the right-wing British press and various MPs described as “enemies of the people” in November for upholding British parliamentary sovereignty and stopping Theresa May using royal prerogative to push through her plans for Brexit without parliamentary oversight.