UK Government announces ‘Brexit Freedoms’ bill

The UK Government is set to launch a new “Brexit Freedoms” Bill to help cut red tape.

Boris Johnson will today unveil plans to make it easier to amend or remove EU laws kept on the statute book after Brexit as a bridging measure in reforms claimed to cut £1 billion of red tape for UK businesses.

The Bill is also expected to end the special status that EU law still has in Britain’s legal framework.

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The Prime Minister made the announcement to mark the two year anniversary of Brexit “being done”.

Boris Johnson is set to announce a "Brexit Freedoms" bill

But opposition parties have already accused the embattled Prime Minister of delivering no real change with the latest move.

Ahead of the announcement, Johnson said: “Getting Brexit Done two years ago today was a truly historic moment and the start of an exciting new chapter for our country.

“We have made huge strides since then to capitalise on our newfound freedoms and restore the UK’s status as a sovereign, independent country that can determine its own future.

“The plans we have set out today will further unleash the benefits of Brexit and ensure that businesses can spend more of their money investing, innovating and creating jobs.

“Our new Brexit Freedoms Bill will end the special status of EU law in our legal framework and ensure that we can more easily amend or remove outdated EU law in future”.

The Attorney General Suella Braverman claimed the move was “essential”.

She continued: “It underpins our ability to grasp important opportunities provided by Brexit.

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“It means we can move away from outdated EU laws that were the result of unsatisfactory compromises within the EU, some of which the UK voted and lobbied against – but was required to adopt without question.

“These rules often had limited meaningful parliamentary scrutiny, and no democratic legitimacy in the UK at all. It is vital that we take the steps necessary, in this Parliament, to remove unnecessary rules altogether, and where regulation is needed, ensure that it meets the UK’s objectives.”

Alongside today’s announcement, a new policy document “The Benefits of Brexit: how the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU” will set out how the UK Government thinks the freedoms will help.

It came as Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon hit out at the UK leaving the EU two years on from the finalisation of a deal to leave the bloc.

“Two years on, Brexit has failed to deliver a single benefit for Scotland’s rural communities, or the countless food and drink businesses that support them,” she said.

“Fragile rural and island communities are bearing the brunt of a hard Brexit, recklessly pursued while a global pandemic has ravaged our society and our economy.

“Scotland’s food and drink sector has been a global success story, providing highly paid, highly skilled jobs, and businesses, often in remote rural and island communities.

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“But Brexit has caused labour and skills shortages and created barriers to trade that have harmed many businesses and communities in the short term, with research suggesting a significant risk to their success in the longer term too.”

The Scottish Government has previously called for a 24-month visa for temporary workers to alleviate pressure on the sector.

Ms Gougeon also pushed for the UK Government to engage with the EU to ease the red tape faced by exporting businesses.

“Scottish exporters are also being forced to cope with a mountain of complex, time-consuming and costly customs and borders arrangements,” she said.

“Businesses put in huge amounts of preparation for the new Export Health Certificates introduced this year, but they still face uncertainty around the level of certification needed to ensure valuable seafood exports enter the EU without delay.

“The UK Government must listen to the needs of Scottish businesses and re-engage in good faith with the EU to find pragmatic solutions to the problems still facing businesses, before they – and the communities they support – endure further unnecessary pain.”

Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General accused the Government of not delivering any real change.

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She said: "For all this talk from the government about the potential legislative freedom we have outside the EU, they still refuse to make a concrete change the Labour Party has been demanding in this area for months, which is the removal of VAT on people’s energy bills.

“The British public overwhelmingly support Labour's proposed change, and it is time the government started listening.”

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