The Repeal Bill – which will transfer thousands of laws previously agreed by the EU onto the British statute book – is being published today.
The legislation will ensure the same rules will apply after the Brexit process is complete and is designed to prevent the UK finding itself in legislative limbo following our departure.
The Government has said that the Repeal Bill, which was the centrepiece of last month’s Queen’s Speech, will limit disruption for individuals and businesses alike.
The sheer number of laws involved is significant. Since 1972, Britain has signed up to 12,000 EU regulations, passed 7,900 statutory instruments and 186 Acts of Parliament with a degree of influence from Brussels.
As a result, the Repeal Bill will touch upon almost every area of policy-making, from commercial and employment law to intellectual property and environmental regulations.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through Parliament and is a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal from the European Union.”
The Government’s position is made more difficult by the fact that it no longer commands a Parliamentary majority and Labour has already signalled that it is prepared to vote against the Bill if it does not secure concessions in a number of key areas.
Hilary Benn MP, who chairs the Brexit Select Committee, said: “The Government needs to understand that Parliament is going to be an active participant in this process.
“I have to say, at every stage thus far ministers have had to be pushed and prodded and cajoled into taking Parliament’s role seriously.”
Other key issues include which powers will be passed to the devolved administrations and how the Government will handle the process of amending laws to ensure they make sense outside the EU.