Civil servants are working overtime to avoid a legal cliff edge after Brexit.
Currently, there are around 12,000 EU regulations in operation in the UK.
According to the BBC, the government plans to copy over the vast majority of them word-for-word into UK law on 29th March, when the UK leaves the European Union for good.
But some of these EU laws will need to be modified before they are moved across to prevent any “black holes” from appearing in the statue book – changes which are being made by statutory instruments.
The European Statutory Instruments Committee has produced three reports, inspecting 36 statutory instruments, of which 5 were recommended for debate and an affirmative motion in Parliament.
But the Commons procedure committee has expressed concern that government is not giving MPs sufficient time to discuss proposed changes.
Charles Walker, the chair of the committee, has called for an “even flow” of statutory instruments to give the European Statutory Instruments Committee enough time work through the amendments.
“Departments must resist the human temptation to always push up against the deadline,” he said.
A recent report by the National Audit Office raised concerns about the ability for Defra to present all of its Statutory Instruments before a potential no-deal exit on 29th March 2019.
In the first week back after party conferences, the European Statutory Instruments Committee did not meet to consider any new statutory instruments and inspected only eight this week.
The government has yet to disregard any of the committees recommendations, but these exceptions show the pitfalls of tweaking EU law to make it work for the UK outside the club and the manifold ways in which the EU touches lives in Britain.
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