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Plans to scrap thousands of EU laws set to boost UK growth, says Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said plans to potentially scrap thousands of European Union laws will help boost growth, as the controversial Bill returns to Parliament.

Cabinet ministers discussed the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on Tuesday, with a deadline of removing or reforming all Brussels-made rules on British statute books by the end of the year.

The Bill will return to the Commons on Wednesday, with ministers also considering proposals on possible post-Brexit regulatory changes in the creative, medical and farming sectors.

Downing Street offered no further detail on the plans, but Mr Sunak told his Cabinet that the work has the “potential to drive growth and improve people’s everyday lives”.

In a readout from Cabinet, the Prime Minister said: “Developing the best regulatory environment in the UK will be crucial to accelerating our economic recovery and driving growth, innovation, and competitiveness as part of plans to build a better future across the country.

“Cabinet agreed none of this work was about watering down standards, such as our strong record on workers’ rights, maternity rights, or environmental protection, having raised domestic standards over recent years to make them some of the highest in the world.”

The legislation is designed to make it easier for the UK Government, via Parliament, to amend, repeal and replace EU law retained after Brexit.

It also allows nearly all remaining retained EU law to be either repealed or absorbed into UK domestic law by December 31 2023.

But it has proved controversial, with some MPs calling it a “power grab” and others – including some senior Tory MPs – questioning the extent of parliamentary oversight for such a process.

The Cabinet readout added: “The Prime Minister concluded by saying this work would be a collective effort across Cabinet which had the potential to drive growth and improve people’s everyday lives.”

Mr Sunak’s official spokesman told reporters that ministers “clearly have a grip on what needs to be done”, adding that what the “public wants to see is action taken quickly”.

Asked for the timeline for updates on the initiative, he said: “I think some of this work can be done and introduced quite quickly. Some will take more time to develop, but it will be departments that will provide updates.”