Research and analysis

Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill: RPC Opinion (Red-rated)

Regulatory Policy Committee opinion on BEIS' Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill IA


RPC Opinion: Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill

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This opinion covers the impact assessment (IA) for the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The RPC received the IA a week after the Bill was introduced to Parliament. We shortened our process to publish our opinion as soon as possible, to assist parliamentary scrutiny.

The IA is not fit for purpose (red-rated); the quality of different analytical areas in the IA are all either weak or very weak, meaning that they provide inadequate support for decision-making. The IA was also red-rated on its assessment of the impacts on small and micro businesses.

The Bill proposes sunsetting more than 2,400 pieces of retained EU legislation (REUL) on 31 December 2023, unless, before then, a departmental review proposes retention of, or changes to, the legislation, or delays the sunset until 2026. No impacts for changes to individual pieces of REUL have been assessed at this stage. We asked the Department to commit to assessing the impact of changed and sunsetted legislation, for RPC scrutiny in the future, but the Department has not made a firm commitment to do so. Our opinion also highlights further areas for improvement in the IA.

As the independent Better Regulation watchdog, it is our view that those affected by regulatory change should reasonably expect the Government to properly consider the impacts of such changes. We are not assured that the impact of changing or sunsetting each piece of REUL will be calculated or understood under proposals currently in place - particularly where no related secondary legislation is required.

Published 21 November 2022