Jacob Rees-Mogg - ‘British-style revolution’ on EU laws promised

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said a “revolution” to reform EU law retained after Brexit will not turn the UK into the “Wild West”.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 7:10 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 7:11 am

The Cabinet Office minister, responsible for “Brexit opportunities”, said the government will publish data every three months to show how many changes have been made to the 2,400 pieces of EU legislation in place following the UK’s departure.

But he declined to specify a target for how much remaining EU law on UK statute books would end up being removed or reformed.

Mr Rees-Mogg said the dashboard will ensure the public can “join us on this journey to amend, repeal or replace” retained EU law in a bid to cut at least £1 billion of business costs from “EU red tape”.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg

Labour said the government was offering a “digital filing cabinet” of existing legislation, which amounted to nothing more than a “vanity project” on a day when inflation hit 9.1%.

Mr Rees-Mogg, making a statement to the Commons on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the EU referendum, told MPs: “This dashboard I hope is an opportunity to tackle hundreds of matters which might seem marginal on their own, but each of these measures in the margin will combine to usher in a revolution.

“Not a French-style revolution with blood running in the streets and the terror of the guillotine, but a British-style revolution whereby marginal improvements moving inch-by-inch so that soon we’ve covered the feet and the feet become yards and the yards become chains and then furlongs and miles until the journey is complete.

“With inflation running high we need to search everywhere and under every stone and sofa cushion for supply side reforms that make products and services cheaper, make things easier for business and ultimately grow the economy and cut the cost of living.”

Mr Rees-Mogg added: “We will continue working with departments to cut at least a billion pounds of business costs from EU red tape, to ensure greater freedoms and productivity.

“Ensuring we have the right regulation is crucial; excessive and unnecessary regulations which burden business or distort market outcomes reduce productivity, pushing up prices and negatively affecting everyone’s cost of living.”

Speaking to reporters in Westminster, Mr Rees-Mogg hit out at one unnamed department that reported only 2% of retained EU law it would like to reform. He called such a suggestion “hopeless”.

“We want to really try to make sure that every single one is looked at,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.