Three times as many Brexit-related laws were passed in the first half of 2019 than in the preceding six months, figures published today suggest. According to legal information business Thomson Reuters, 488 pieces of such legisltation were passed in the six months to June, up from 112 in the previous. In the first half of 2018, only one Brexit-related law was passed.
Despite the surge, the government still faces a mammoth task in the run-up to exit day on 31 October, Thomson Reuters said. Brexit-related bills still needing to be passed include:
- The Trade Bill, giving the government powers to 'roll over' existing EU trade deals
- The Financial Services Bill, to give the government powers to implement future EU financial services regulations in the UK
- The Immigration Bill, establishing the 'settled status' regime for EU citizens living in the UK
Charlotte Brady, legislation department manager at Thomson Reuters, said: 'The uncertainty around the timing and manner of the UK’s departure from the EU has led to a significant proportion of drafters’ time being directed towards preparing UK legislation for Brexit, which has resulted in a reduced focus on the domestic agenda.
'This trend looks set to continue as even after Brexit, there will still be Brexit-related legislation which needs to be passed in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s departure.'
One example of a measure that has not been given parliamentary time is the 'Good Work Plan', intended to improve working conditions for agency and zero-hours workers. It has not had a hearing since being announced in early 2018.
Brady called on the government to produce a list of all EU legislation it plans to take on and whether it intends to amend that legislation in advance of exit day.