The UK Government recently announced plans to abandon its controversial commitment to review or scrap all retained EU law by the end of 2023. Although the majority of retained EU law is now set to stay on the UK statute book until further notice, this announcement does not impact the Government’s recent financial regulatory initiatives and reforms, including the so-called “Edinburgh Reforms”, and the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022-2023 (the “FSMB”).
As originally drafted, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “REUL Bill”) would revoke almost all EU-derived subordinate law and retained direct EU legislation from the UK statute book at the end of 2023 via “sunset provisions”. Instead of all pieces of retained EU law being removed all at once, Kemi Badenoch, Business and Trade Secretary, has now announced that only around 600 pieces of legislation will be removed by the end of 2023, with the majority of the pre-existing EU laws (almost 4,000 pieces) remaining on the UK statute book for now.
However, the timetable under the REUL Bill never applied to “relevant financial services law” including the financial services legislation listed in Schedule 1 to the FSMB. Consequently, the Government’s U-turn does not affect the FSMB which will still be used to repeal and, where appropriate, replace retained EU law relating to financial services.
Alongside the Government’s announcement on the REUL Bill, it has published a policy paper, “Smarter regulation to grow the economy” (the “Policy Paper”). The Policy Paper is the first in a series of regulatory reform updates on how the Government intends to reform regulations to support economic growth, reduce regulatory burdens and push down the cost of living.
Various media outlets have reported on the Government’s announcement on the REUL Bill (for example, see here, here and here). The Policy Paper is available here.