The Constitutional Secretary writes to the British Government.
Environmental, food and animal welfare standards are among thousands of laws currently at risk due to the UK Government’s Retained European Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, the Secretary to the Angus Robertson Constitution.
The Retained EU Legislation (Revocation and Reform) Bill, published in the House of Commons today, seeks to revoke more than 2,400 pieces of EU legislation which were on the UK statute book at the end of Brexit transition period.
In a letter to the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mr Robertson expressed deep concern over the overall ‘obsoleteness’ of EU law retained in here on December 31, 2023, warning that it “carries an unacceptable character”. high risk that a vital piece of legislation, on which the proper functioning of sectors of the economy and society depends, will simply be removed from the UK law book”.
The introduction of the withheld European Legislation (Revocation and Reform) Bill risks removing restrictions on the use of decontaminants on meat, such as chlorine washes on chicken and minimum business hygiene standards . It could also compromise protections related to baby food safety and compositional standards.
Paid holidays, safe limits on working hours and parental leave could also become subject to deregulation. The letter also warns that the bill represents a major further blow to devolution, by allowing UK government ministers to act in policy areas which are devolved, and to do so without the consent of Scottish ministers or the Scottish Parliament. .
Scottish Ministers have pledged to align regulations in Scotland with EU regulations. Mr Robertson urged the UK government to reconsider the bill and its implications for devolved governments.
The letter can be read in full online.