Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch hits back at Tory MP critics
Britain’s post-Brexit burning of EU regulations and red tape is set to be headlined by changes of rules on genetically modified Japanese carnations, Polish canal boats, broken rice and Fijian seafarers.
The Government’s u-turn on its vow to scrap the estimated 4,800 EU rules that remain on British law book after Brexit has been blamed on the stubborn Whitehall “blob” by Kemi Badenoch.
The Business Secretary said on Wednesday (May 10) that she could only get rid of 600 rules – falling some way short of the 2,400 laws promised to be repealed or reviewed in Rishi Sunak’s first 100 days as Prime Minister.
Following the Government’s amendment of its Retained EU Law Bill in the Lords, many of the laws on the chopping block appeared to be linked to EU decisions or policies and projects reserved for bloc members only.
A national newspaper’s analysis of the Bill discovered that around 590 rules and regulations were due to be repealed after officials judged they could be chopped without any negative outcomes.
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Kemi Badenoch has blamed the Whitehall ‘blob’ for the Government’s u-turn
At least six laws are in relation to decisions allowing the placing of carnations on the EU market, particularly in the Netherlands, the Telegraph reports.
Two of those relate to Japanese carnations, which had been genetically modified for flower colour, and can be traced back to November 2016.
Around 176 of the laws are linked to fish and fishing, which was expected as the UK departed from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy because of Brexit.
Nine of the laws are exclusively about tuna, which includes the 2014 revoking of a ban on imports to the EU of Atlantic bigeye tuna from Bolivia, Cambodia and Equatorial Guinea.
Anchovy is the subject of four of the laws, which include fishing opportunities in the Bay of Biscay for 2012/2013.
The 910 spots granted to Venezuelan fishers off the coast of French Guiana by the EU in December 2011 will also be chopped by Britain.
176 of the repealed laws relate to fish and fishing
Seafaring qualifications from Ghana, Bangladesh and Fiji recognised by the EU are also set for the axe alongside numerous fishing agreements with countries including Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Norway.
Mauritania is the non-EU country mentioned the most in the regulations, with seven name drops in the amended Bill.
Old trade treaties with Canada, Cuba and Turkmenistan are also on the fire, as well as EU agreements with the Republic of Congo on forest law enforcement.
Estimates suggest that as much as 15 per cent of the laws are in relation to EU deals with non-EU countries that are leading in specific goods and services.
Short-term exemptions from road haulier driving limits which have now expired, and from EU organic food production rules and regulations during Covid will also be struck from the statute books.
15 per cent of the chopped laws are linked to EU deals with non-EU countries
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Legalities for the EU’s Copernicus satellite system, in which British businesses made crucial contributions in establishing, are also set to go.
Regular food products such as cereal, sugar and animal products feature in 40 of the regulations, with some, including “broken rice” relating to EU import duties no longer involving post-Brexit Britain.
The EU’s decision in 1995 on the tariff categorisation of pig carcasses also no longer apply, along with climate rules for Swiss aeroplanes landing in the EU or plans for an EU network of employment agencies.
So too the recognition of the Polish register of shipping as a classification society for inland canal boats in February 2012.
Exemptions to EU tax law granting reduced rates of fuel duty on vehicles in the inner and outer Hebrides are also destined for the bin.
The 31 mentions of climate change, greenhouse gases and emissions in the amended Bill no longer apply.
Some of them are linked to EU green legislation, which has been either replaced or updated over the years instead of representing an axing of existing UK climate laws.
Others are connected to the EU’s Emissions Trading System, the trading bloc’s market for carbon allowances, which no longer applies to the UK.
Biocidal products are mentioned 23 times in the document, meaning authorisations or the denial of authorisations of certain pesticides also feature heavily.
But these laws originate from before Brexit, when UK regulators would be used by companies to give market authorisation for their products across the EU, instead of an indication of a free-for-all on pesticides post-Brexit.