Retained EU laws to be “improved or repealed” if they do not benefit British businesses

Retained EU Legislation will be “improved or repealed” if it does not benefit UK businesses, the Government has announced.

The move forms part of the Government’s plans to “capitalise on new Brexit freedoms” following the UK’s departure earlier this year.

If you run a business in the UK, here’s what you need to know.

What is ‘retained EU legislation’?

Despite officially leaving the EU earlier this year, thousands of EU rules and regulations were automatically kept on the statute book. This may be due to time constraints or points of contention that could not be resolved before the end of the transition period.

Which EU laws will be reviewed?

In essence, all of them. The Government said “thousands” of EU laws will be scrutinised to ensure they are “helping the UK to thrive”.

GDPR, transport, AI, and farming at heart of review

The “burdensome” General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is among the regimes to be reviewed, the Government has revealed. Proposed reforms were published earlier this year, setting out a “pro-growth, trusted data rights regime, which is more proportionate and less burdensome than the EU’s GDPR rules”.

EU vehicle standards will also be reviewed, enabling the UK to become a leader in “future technologies like autonomous maritime vessels, self-driving cars and drones”.

Artificial intelligence and farming will also be prioritised in the review.

Further individual regulatory reforms can be found here.

How will this affect British businesses?

While cutting red tape and bureaucracy, it has been suggested that the review will aim to remove the “special status” that EU retained law “still enjoys in our legal framework” and “determine how best to ensure that UK courts can no longer give undue precedence to EU-derived laws in future”.

This means certain regulations will no longer apply in the UK, meaning businesses may be forced to adapt to new rules.

The Government added, however, that it will provide businesses with “legal certainty” throughout the review.

“Overbearing regulations were often conceived and agreed in Brussels with little consideration of the UK national interest”

Commenting on the review, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost, said: “From rules on data storage to the ability of businesses to develop new green technologies, overbearing regulations were often conceived and agreed in Brussels with little consideration of the UK national interest.

“We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens get on and succeed.

“Today’s announcement is just the beginning. The Government will go further and faster to create a competitive, high-standards regulatory environment which supports innovation and growth across the UK as we build back better from the pandemic.”

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