Mr Johnson said on Monday that he was moving forward with the scrapping of bloc laws brought over after Brexit, which will stimulate business growt
Mr Johnson said on Monday that he was moving forward with the scrapping of bloc laws brought over after Brexit, which will stimulate business growth within the UK. The Prime Minister’s “Brexit Freedoms Bill” will allow the UK to set its own rules for “cutting edge technologies of the future”, he added.
But Mr Johnson still attracted scorn for failing to make the most of opportunities post-Brexit that could not just be corrective, but transformative.
Writing in British online newspaper CapX, journalist Henry Hill called on the Prime Minister to listen to the advice of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who voiced the possibility of a ‘sunset clause’ back in 2016.
He wrote: “Perhaps the single surest sign of Johnson’s lack of boldness on the question of EU regulations, however, is the fact that he still refrains from doing the one ‘big bang’ initiative which might really start to get them off the statute book: subject them to a sunset clause.
“This was Grant Shapps’ proposal all the way back in 2016, and it remains by far the best way to ensure things get done.
“It would place the power of inertia on the side of repeal, with ministers and civil servants having to stir themselves to identify and advocate for regulations they actually wanted to keep, rather than make a desultory effort to find a few burnt offerings to appease the Prime Minister.”
A sunset clause places a time limit on legislation, meaning the Government was more likely to look for those rules they would like to keep, rather than seek to weed out.
Mr Hill added: “When the Chancellor was tasked last year with mounting a series of ‘systematic deep dives’ into legacy EU regulations (which one might have thought ought to have provided, after 12 months, the basis for a detailed repeal bill) I suggested he revive Shapps’ proposal and take it further.
“Even outside the EU context, it would be a big step towards better regulations if new domestic regulations were automatically subject to sunset clauses, with departments having to provide clear criteria for failure when proposing them which MPs could use to assess them on the second vote. No more regulate-and-forget!”
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He said: “There are things that we can do differently in a way that will encourage business to invest even more.”
He added: “We won’t diverge for the sake of it, but we’re going to make sure this is the number one place to invest and do business because of freedoms that we have.”
No 10 continued on to say the changes would improve other aspects of regulation in the business sector since the UK’s exit from the EU, including doing away with the five percent rate of VAT on tampons required by the bloc.
They also mentioned they would simplify alcohol duties from next year by throwing out EU-wide legislation.
But retained EU laws currently have a legal status separate from wholly domestic legislation, meaning a different process is needed to alter them.
In the plans, Mr Johnson said he will cut £1billion in bureaucratic expenses for businesses, but has been unspecific on the details of precisely how he will do so.
In a statement, the Prime Minister said: “Getting Brexit done two years ago today was a truly historic moment and the start of an exciting new chapter for our country.
“The plans we have set out today will further unleash the benefits of Brexit and ensure that businesses can spend more of their money investing, innovating and creating jobs.”
“Our new Brexit freedoms bill will end the special status of EU law in our legal framework and ensure that we can more easily amend or remove outdated EU law in future.”
But the “Brexit Freedoms Bill” has drawn concern about the fate of the UK’s devolved nations, and other critics have pointed to the Government’s already wracked-up bill of red-tape costs incurred by Brexit itself.