Brexit rebellion GROWS as more Tories set to side with Labour to defeat Sunak's plans to rip up EU laws

Rishi Sunak supported Brexit during the 2016 referendum
Rishi Sunak supported Brexit during the 2016 referendum
House of Commons
Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 16/01/2023

- 09:11

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:22

Rishi Sunak has pledged to review all legislation from Brussels by the end of the year

Ministers are braced for more Conservative backbenchers to join a Brexit rebellion to force the Government to give MPs a say on eradicating EU laws.

A number of Tory MPs siding with Labour to demand Parliament be given the final say on whether laws from Brussels continue to apply.

Rishi Sunak has pledged to review all legislation from Brussels implemented when the UK was a part of the bloc by the end of the year.

The so-called "sunset" clause means ministers must specifically say they want to keep EU regulations by the end of this year or they will expire and no longer apply to Britain.

File photo dated 02/02/22 of MP David Davis leaves the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Tory MP David Davis, who is backing Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest, has played down the significance of recent polls showing Liz Truss as the clear frontrunner. Issue date: Wednesday August 3, 2022.
David Davis is leading the Tory rebellion
Kirsty O'Connor

On Wednesday the Commons will vote on passing the EU Retained Law Bill to impose the December 31 deadline.

So far 30-40 Conservatives are thought to be planning to back an amendment to give MPs rather than ministers the final decision on what legislation remains in place.

However, The i reports suggest the Government is preparing for the number of rebels to grow.

Former Brexit Secretary, David Davis, and ex-Cabinet minister Sir Robert Buckland are among those leading the rebellion.

They are concerned the Bill will allow ministers to abolish 4,000 laws on issues from workers’ rights to environmental protection without the approval of MPs.

The amendment to the legislation would force ministers to outline the laws they are planning to scrap and give the Commons the power to vote on whether they agree.

Buckland told The Times: “I understand that this bill is an important next stage in terms of clarifying the law and making sure the regulations we need are retained.”

A Government spokesman said: "The programme to review, revoke and reform retained EU law is underway and there are no plans to change the 2023 sunset deadline in the Retained EU Law Bill.

"The PM made clear at the Liaison Committee last month that he wants to progress this work to look at what we keep and what we change ‘as quickly as possible’ to provide certainty to people and to move away from outdated EU laws so our own rules determine how we live and govern our lives in Britain."

Some MPs also fear the deadline of the end of this year is too soon for all legislation to be properly looked at.

Jacob Rees-Mogg urged against delaying the deadline
Jacob Rees-Mogg urged against delaying the deadline

But last week former Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg warned against pushing back the deadline.

He told GB News: "Well, as I understand, the government is pushing ahead with the retained EU law bill.

"And I think this is tremendously important that you had an excellent interview recently with a very distinguished lawyer who said that he could do it by himself in a year and that a law firm could do it in a month. And I think that's right.

"I think the problems around it have been exaggerated that all of these laws will have papers around them would have required information when they were brought in, all of that is on file."

The North East Somerset MP added: "It's very straightforward. Bear in mind 1,400 of them had to be dug out of the National Archive because they were essentially not being used. So that's just clearing things out."

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