12 May 2023
by Oli Hill, Robert Sheasby

AIC welcomes Government decision to drop unrealistic retained EU law review plans

eu-exit-westminster-uk-flag-brexit-c-shutterstock532825627.jpg

The Government's decision to abandon plans to review all EU-derived legislation by the end of 2023 has been welcomed by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).

Yesterday (11 May) the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch announced that the Government would instead seek to repeal or reform around 600 EU laws, instead of the 4,000 initially planned.

As the agri-supply industry's leading trade association, AIC has long been calling on the Government to reconsider its approach to reviewing all EU legislation, which was in effect copied into the UK statute book following EU exit.

The Government had originally pledged to keep, amend, or scrap all retained EU legislation by the end of the year.

Unacceptable risk

Robert Sheasby, AIC's Chief Executive, said: "We welcome this change of approach by the Government as it avoids uncertainty and will be of great relief to UK agri-supply businesses.

"While we support the principle of reviewing retained EU legislation, the arbitrary deadline placed on this important and complex work was unrealistic.

"By the Government's own figures, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and respective departments in devolved Governments are tasked with the biggest burden of all, reviewing almost 1,700 pieces of legislation covering a vast range of food, agricultural and environmental policy areas.

"Working through that extensive list of legislation, and giving proper consideration to each, before the year end was clearly impractical and presented unacceptable risks.

He added: "There should now be a comprehensive rethink of food and feed legislation and its process, tailored to the needs of the UK and devolved administrations.

"Developing policy in an evidence-based, open and transparent way is better for the supply chain and consumers. It is far better to take more time over this and get it right, than rush the process to meet an artificial deadline.

"AIC will continue to work with the Government as it seeks to review all retained EU laws over a more appropriate timescale."

Visit the GOV.UK website to view the Retained EU law dashboard for a breakdown of the legislation for Defra to review and its progress.

As of 11 March, 23.52% of EU law had been amended, repealed or replaced by Defra according to the Government dashboard.

Early warning

Last November, AIC warned the Government that "arbitrary timescales and sun-setting clauses creates an unnecessary and unacceptable risk of there being a hole in legislation" at a committee hearing at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood.

During the session of the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee on 24 November, where MSPs were scrutinising the UK Government's Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) BillAIC Scotland Policy Manager Ian Muirhead told committee members that while review of retained EU law was welcome, it was not feasible to attempt to conclude this by end of 2023.

"If there was a failure, due to the timescales set out, to ensure minimum standards for food and feed safety, that would have major business and trade implications, particularly for our feed producing Members," Ian said at the time.

Watch the video below.

Authors

Oli Hill

Oli Hill

Communications Manager, AIC

As Communications Manager, Oli creates and oversees the content published on AIC's website, emails, Member briefings, print publications, and social media.

A qualified multimedia journalist, he previously spent six years working at Farmers Weekly magazine as a Senior Reporter on the arable team, and latterly as Community Editor. More recently he was Communications Manager at Red Tractor.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
01733 385230
Twitter:
@oliverjhill_

Read lessmore

Robert Sheasby

Robert Sheasby

AIC Chief Executive, AIC

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
01733 385230

Read lessmore