Budget Statement (UK)

Yesterday 17 November 2022 saw the UK Government make a budget statement. The following are announcements of interest –

(1) Deletion of Retained EU Law (REUL) – a bill is in progress to delete a significant body of law off the statute books by the end of 2023 (I have blog posted about this a number of times already).

The Budget Statement asserts “the government is committed to reforming retained EU law”. The Statement states 5 areas will be reviewed over the next year, comprising “life sciences”, “green industries”, and “ advanced manufacturing” (along with “financial services”, and “digital technology”).

In addition, the government will task Sir Patrick Vallance to advise on how to regulate “emerging technologies”.

(2) Climate Change Levy (CCL) – the rates will be rebalanced, the CCL rate on gas will be raised, and the CCL rate on electricity will be frozen. These steps will take effect in the Finance Bill 2023. The percentage discount on the CCL main rates available through the Climate Change Agreement Scheme will be fixed at 92% for electricity and 77% for LPG. The discounts for gas and solid fuels will be adjusted to 89%.

(3) Carbon Price Support (CPS) – CPS rates in Britain will be kept at a level equivalent to £18 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2024-2025.

EU Law Revocation (Britain) Update

The Financial Times is reporting this morning that a further large number of EU laws has been located by the National Archives. The report is that the end 2023 deadline for revocation of REUL (retained EU law) is now likely to slip, as the scale of the work challenge to replace or reform each instrument builds.

The Bill is currently in Committee stage, as currently drafted Ministers could delay until June 2026, but both dates of December 2023 and June 2026 could now change.

We will nonetheless, list the instruments that will be affected, and load this onto Cardinal Environment Limited EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists in January 2023. We will track the changes to this list and the development of replacement or reformed instruments by using the traffic light system, the same approach we used for the Brexit Consolidated Law project (which is concluded).

I will write further Updates (Blog posts) as more information becomes available on the revocation of REUL.

EU Law Revocation (Britain) UPDATE

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (I posted about recently) is in Committee stage, and the Public Bill Committee (the relevant Committee) yesterday has asked for submissions to it – here.

You can see from the link, the purpose of the Bill is to sunset (remove from the statute book) certain types of law by end 2023. In particular, the Bill will completely overhaul a body of UK domestic law known as “retained EU law” (REUL). This is a category of law that came into being as a result of the UK exit from the EU. It includes both Retained EU instruments, and certain domestic laws that gain their authority in a particular way.

Note: when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 22 November.

As I have written in the last Email Alert to clients, we will commence listing the laws to be affected shortly, and this list will display on Cardinal Environment Limited EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists from Jan 2023 (earlier drafts will display earlier) and be subject to tracking through 2023.

A very considerable number of laws will be affected.

We expect most affected laws to be replaced with new laws, covering the same obligations. The tracking evident on Legislation Registers and Checklists will identify progress.

We do not expect that obligations will be removed altogether. If a law is removed without a replacement, we expect the obligations to be inserted by amendment into other pre-existing law, and the tracking will identify this.

Nonetheless, this is a complex process.