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Here's what we learned today about this bill:
This Bill will likely bring Whitehall to a standstill...
With almost 4,000 pieces of regulation deleted, this Bill means our Civil Service will be forced to spend the next year dealing with the impact of this at a time when action on cost of living, climate change and the energy crisis are needed urgently. Ministers refused to even agree to reveal what impact this work will have on the Government's capacity to pursue other work - including the administration required - reflecting how little planning appears to have been done to deal with the chaos this legislation will create
Asparagus can be written into law...
In Belgium in 2021, an asparagus recipe was accidentally cut and pasted into legislation - drafting errors such as this are a regular occurrence within any governing authority. Having proper parliamentary scrutiny can help identify these before they become law, yet the government refused an amendment to ensure that any replacement laws for those which are being deleted by this bill would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. Yet again, it reflects how this legislation will not ‘take back control’ to the British people but to bureaucrats in Downing Street.
Ministers argued parliament and executive same thing…
Ministers rejected these proposals today because they told the Committee that it wasn’t important if Ministers or parliament were responsible for rewriting laws - despite the obvious democratic deficit between empowering the executive as this bill does and ‘taking back control’ to elected representatives.
“When they go to the ballot box now it's going to be true that the British people know who to hold responsible, and that will be us. It's not some pooled system in Brussels, it's here in the United Kingdom. That, not precisely where the powers sit within our legislature, it's the fact that it's within this legislature, elected by the people of this country, that's where that power sits.” Graham Stuart, BEIS Minister 29th November 2022
And the risks to our water, air and food standards...
Client Earth, an environmental charity, have written to the Government to highlight this bill risks a range of protections we take for granted because they implement key European standards. This includes the Drinking Water Directive (through its implementing regulations) which sets safety standards for drinking water, the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 which sets limits on the permitted concentration of a number of harmful air pollutants in outdoor air and impose duties on the government to measure and report pollution level and the General Food Regulation (EU Regulation (EC) 178/2002) requires that food must not be unsafe. With no guarantees as to what these will be replaced with, or even if they will be replaced at all, their concerns have been echoed by a wide range of organisations about the nature of this bill- The Government has ignored all of these submissions to date.