Rishi Sunak is considering scrapping plans to review or replace all retained EU laws by the end of 2023, while also U-turning on a pledge to create a “Brexit delivery unit”.
The Prime Minister has been told the target would tie up hundreds of civil servants in reviewing 2,400 pieces of EU legislation.
The Financial Times reports that he is now considering dropping the target, which both he and Liz Truss committed to during the Tory leadership race.
Sunak has also canned a promised Brexit delivery unit, which would have seen a group of civil servants dedicated to reviewing EU laws.
He promised the unit in a leadership video, which saw a faceless man putting EU laws in a paper shredder to the tune of Ode to Joy – the EU’s official anthem.
“The time for changes in the machinery of government has passed,” a Sunak ally told the FT.
Ex-business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg was told that his department would have needed 400 civil servants to review or repeal just 300 pieces of retained legislation.
MPs began debating the Retained EU Law Bill this week, which was championed by Rees-Mogg.
The bill proposes that any piece of EU legislation that has not been reviewed and either replaced or kept by the end of 2023 will be automatically scrapped.
However, there is a clause in the bill which can extend this deadline until 2026.
Rees-Mogg, now a backbencher after Sunak’s reshuffle, told MPs this week that the bill would mean “we are restoring parliamentary sovereignty”.
“This bill is first of all of fundamental constitutional importance because it is removing the supremacy of EU law,” he said.