Taking back powers from EU ‘could take a decade’

David Cameron has made cuts to the civil service. Picture: AFP/Getty
David Cameron has made cuts to the civil service. Picture: AFP/Getty
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Taking back powers from the European Union is set to tie up Westminster for up to a decade, it has been warned.

Weeding out unwanted legislation and putting in place powers to replace those that will disappear after Brexit will require “considerable” resources, according to a parliamentary expert.

The overhaul will put pressure on the civil service, which has faced significant cut backs under Prime Minister David Cameron.

It will also mean the need for new bodies, such as an agriculture payments system, to be created just years after the government pledged a bonfire of the quangos.

Hannah White, a programme director at the Institute for Government, estimated it could take ten years to sort out legislation.

She said: “Brexit poses a challenge for Whitehall and Westminster. Extricating the UK from its membership of the EU, establishing a new relationship and taking back responsibility for a range of significant policy areas previously dealt with by Brussels will require considerable staff resource, expertise and time.”