It has been some time since there has been talk about bonfires in Parliament but the continued debate (albeit largely outside of the Chamber thus far) as to when we should finally say ‘farewell’ to ‘retained’ EU legislation is one that many of us are watching with interest.
When originally introduced, the suggestion that some 4,000 pieces of legislation would essentially evaporate by the end of this year caused something veering between confusion, concern and, let’s be honest, disbelief. As the days progressed, more Regulations were being identified and the idea that each piece of legislation would be scrutinised and then considered and potentially rewritten to form English law within such a short period of time became more and more un-realistic. The suggestion now is that some Regulations will have a stay of execution until 2026 but the definition of ‘some’ has yet to be provided.
It would appear though that timescales are now not the Government’s only problem as a cross party movement has been established to call for MPs and not just Ministers to have a say in which Regulations should vanish and which should stay. A position which is understandable but again clearly puts pressure on a December 2023 deadline.
Without wishing to reopen the Brexit debate, the time will come when we do need to decide whether to adopt these Regulations as our own or to wave them off to sea, but is that time now?
The next debate in Parliament relating to the proposed Bill is tomorrow (18th January) so watch this space ….