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The intent of the Brexit Freedoms Bill

The Brexit Freedoms Bill was first proposed by parliament in January 2022, seeking to finish “getting Brexit done” by targeting EU laws within the UK. This intent was confirmed during a speech to commemorate The Queen’s jubilee, and by Jacob Rees-Mogg [the minister of state for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency] in his discussions with the cabinet, both in May 2022.

But, what is the Brexit Freedoms Bill and what will it do?

How the Brexit Freedoms Bill will work

 
The Bill is designed to target over 1500 pieces of EU legislation that remain a part of EU law, bringing them under review for amendment, cancellation, or keeping, by a date set in a “sunset clause” – which is intended to be within the next 5 years.


Up for review are pieces of EU legislation that have been admitted to UK law without going through the process of parliamentary approval. This is where the bill is read, audited, and [if voted for] passed by both the 
House of Lords and the House of Commons. As previous members of the EU, Britain had to admit universal legislation into law when decided by the EU’s council. 

As a result, several EU laws remain that Britain is no longer tied to, and that may not be beneficial to the country, but are still in effect due to them not yet being reviewed by the Government since Brexit. The Brexit Freedoms Bill will add urgency to this task and allow opportunity for EU laws to be reviews by the UK for the first time.

 

When will the Bill come into effect?


Unlike the EU laws that it is targeting, the Brexit Freedoms Bill must first be reviewed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords before it can be passed and the sunset clauses applied.

This process has 5 stages, that are done in each house independently: 

– First reading.
– Second reading.
– Committee stage.
– Report stage.
– Third reading. 

At all stages, MPs can raise questions or objections to parts or all of the bill. It will only be passed into UK law once both houses approve a final version and it is given royal assent.

What are the disadvantages of the bill?

 
Initial objectors of the Brexit Freedoms Bill have raised concerns that it will restrict or complicate trade with the EU (potentially compounding the cost of living crisis), occupy resources within the government at a time when cuts are being made to civil services, and scare off foreign investors. This will likely mean heavy scrutiny and delays as the Bill passes through parliament,

Are you concerned about the Brexit Freedoms Bill?

 

Currently, the Bill has not been passed into UK law, so there is no action to be taken. Additionally, there is heavy opposition inside the government and across several industries, so the Bill (if passed) will likely be amended.

Customs Support are here if you have any concerns about the impact that the Brexit Freedoms Bill could have on your customs clearances.  With offices across the UK, Northern Ireland, and the rest of Europe, we provide you with local expertise on both sides of your supply chain so that you can stay informed on changes in legislation and trade across borders with ease. If you want more information on our end-to-end customs clearance servicescontact one of our team for more information.

 

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