U.K. to Ask Voters Which EU Rules Should Be Cut Post-Brexit
U.K. voters will be invited to advise the government on which European Union-inherited regulations should be repealed following Brexit.
A standing commission will be established to receive recommendations on which laws should go, Brexit minister David Frost told the House of Lords on Thursday.
“We will tap into the collective wisdom of the British people,” Frost said. The move will “begin to remove the dominance of the arbitrary rule of unknown origin over people’s day-to-day lives.”
He also signaled the government plans to allow traders to sell goods in imperial units such as pounds and ounces -- a practice the EU restricted.
After months of Brexit-linked turmoil that has hit trade, sparked labor shortages, and stoked tensions in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to set out the benefits of quitting the EU -- the key political project that helped him to win power in 2019.
Frost said the government also plans to loosen rules in areas including data, artificial intelligence, and genetically-modified organisms in a bid to be more “pro-growth” than the EU. His statement adopted many of the recommendations of a pro-Brexit report by former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Frost also reiterated the government’s plans to overhaul the finance industry. In an accompanying letter, he described the regulatory regime inherited from the EU as “inflexible and overly restrictive.”
The bloc has warned the U.K. that any divergence from EU regulatory standards will hurt the City of London’s chances of securing access to European markets.
In response to Frost’s comments, Emily Thornberry, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow international trade secretary, accused the government of living in a “fantasy world” and called on it to acknowledge the harms being caused by Brexit.
“Join us in the real world, together with Britain’s business community, the world of delays and shortages, red tape and bureaucracy,” she said. “A world which demands sensible answers and practical action.”
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