Retained EU Law

Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at on 8 February 2023.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

What assessment he has made of the potential impact of the retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on Northern Ireland.

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The Government recognise the unique challenges that Northern Ireland Departments are facing in the absence of the Executive and Assembly, and we are working closely with the Executive Office to develop an approach that accounts for the political situation in Northern Ireland. Of course, UK Government Departments will assess impacts, where required, of any changes that they make on Northern Ireland, as with other devolved Administrations, when in the process of reviewing retained EU law.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

It seems that the only certainty we have with this bonfire Bill is uncertainty. We do not know how many laws will be affected by it, although we know it will be in the thousands. We do not know how it will work with the existing Northern Ireland protocol, or with whatever revised protocol may exist in a few months’ time. With this legislative chaos hanging over the heads of Northern Ireland businesses, how are they expected to make plans for the future?

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The Government are well aware of the need for people to have regulatory certainty to make plans for the future. The hon. Lady can be assured that we will ensure that we meet all our international obligations, including under the EU-UK trade and co-operation agreement, the protocol, and the withdrawal agreement.