We need to oppose the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022

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The Government is pushing through a Bill that will, by default, remove much of the legislation protecting our health and safety as well as hard won employment rights.

Thousands of ‘Retained EU Laws’ were carried over onto the UK statute book after Brexit in order to provide legal continuity. If the REUL Bill is passed, and these laws are not actively incorporated into UK law by the end of 2023, most will just disappear.

At the same time, if any retained laws are given any consideration, the Bill will give Ministers unprecedented powers to amend or replace them without Parliamentary scrutiny.

The implications for the NHS are huge. The loss of regulations governing the safety of medicines or the quality of baby food, just as examples, risks undermining the health of the public, and in turn creating new pressures on the NHS.

In addition, the Bill poses threats to long-established employment rights. The morale of NHS staff is already low in the face of low pay, exhaustion following Covid and staff shortages. If employment rights are undermined as a result of this Bill, the situation for NHS staff and its patients can only get worse.

Please write to your MP with our briefing on the REUL Bill using MPs template letter here (Word doc)

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Harriet Harman,


    I am writing as one of your constituents to raise concern about the Retained EU Law Bill, which aims to completely overhaul the body of UK domestic law known as “retained EU law” (REUL).

    The Bill has prompted alarm, not least because
    • it aims to give Ministers almost unchecked powers to amend or replace RUEL across diverse policy areas, providing a fast-track route to deregulation with virtually no Parliamentary input or oversight,
    • it proposes that any REUL that has not been dealt with by a sunset deadline (currently December 2023) will automatically expire, yet it seems impossible that the thousands of pieces of legislation concerned can be reviewed during the time frame. Many will simply drop off the statute books.

    This means, for example, we could see the disappearance of regulations responsible for quality, health and safety, such as those governing human medicines; the quality of food for babies and infants; hygiene standards for the production of products of animal origin; the quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation; and requirements for the manufacture, packaging and sale of tobacco and related products.

    In addition, the Bill poses threats to long-established employment rights, such as 48-hour working week, rest breaks and holiday pay; the rights of employees transferred to a different employer under TUPE; and equality of treatment for part-time and fixed-term workers.

    I am especially concerned that the disappearance of regulations without due Parliamentary scrutiny risks undermining the health of the public, and in turn create new pressures on an NHS that is already under enormous strain.

    I attach a briefing from Keep Our NHS Public with further information, and urge you to do all you can to stop this Bill.

    Yours sincerely
    Elana McLaughlin
    25 Badsworth Road
    London SE5 0JY

    [email protected]

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