European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:18 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:18 pm, 7th September 2017

With respect, we have had one lengthy intervention, and I have to make some progress.

Our current estimate is that the UK Government will need to make between 800 and 1,000 statutory instruments to make exit a reality in UK law. That may seem, in some ways, like a large number—it is a little less than one year’s quota, as it were—and I understand that Members have concerns about scrutiny of that volume of legislation, but let me contrast that with the 12,000 European Union regulations and 8,000 domestic regulations—20,000 pieces of law—that have brought forward new policies while we have been members of the European Union.

This one-off task is very different from the flow of new law from the European Union in the last 40 years, and it is ultimately about ensuring that power returns to this House. The people who complain about using secondary legislation should remember that of those 20,000 pieces of law, 8,000 went through under secondary legislation and the remaining 12,000 went through without any involvement from this House at all, because they came as regulations. They changed the law rather than maintaining it.