Revealed: EU enforced thousands of EXTRA laws before Brexit was complete
The European Union has spent the entire Brexit process aiming to keep the UK tied to Brussels' laws and regulation - and since we voted to leave the bloc, they have continued to pile on extra rules.
Research carried out by Thomson Reuters in June 2017, a year after the referendum result, found that more than 700 new EU laws had been introduced in the year following the UK’s decision to leave. That meant on average, around 60 EU regulations and directives had been added to the British statute book every month - even though the decision to leave had already been made.
At the time, the UK was already obliged to follow the existing 19,000 EU regulations, directives and other rules that were part of UK law.
The researchers found that the new laws related to a wide range of issues, including deep-sea fish stocks in the Atlantic to expanded sanctions against North Korea.
The UK Government decided early on in the process that after leaving, it would carry with it the existing EU laws to avoid a legislative “black hole” that would be left if they were all immediately abandoned.
This allows Parliament to then decide which laws to keep and which to scrap after leaving the bloc.
Given the sheer amount of laws, this could take decades to complete – and the process won’t have been helped by the added laws and regulations over the last three-and-a-half-years.
If the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier is to have his way, the UK may yet be obliged to continue following many laws from Brussels.
Barnier's Brexit plans stated that quota-free access to EU markets was dependent on the inclusion of “a mechanism to uphold the high standards we have on social, environmental, tax, and state aid matters today and in their future developments”.