CTSI calls for delay of Retained EU Law Bill as Lords express concerns
The consumer protection body agrees with peers’ criticisms of proposed Bill.
To coincide with tomorrow’s adjournment debate on the implications of the Retained EU Law Bill for Trading Standards, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has reiterated its calls for a delay to the proposed implementation of the Bill at the end of the year.
A growing number of organisations, peers and politicians have expressed concerns over the practicability of the proposed bill, which would mean rewriting – and potentially axing – around 4,000 pieces of legislation derived from the UK’s membership of the EU by 31 December 2023.
This legislation includes vital consumer protections, food and product safety laws and regulations affecting animal health and welfare, as well as a raft of laws safeguarding the environment and workers’ rights.
CTSI understands that individual Government departments, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), have the option of postponing the Bill’s deadline until 2026 for any pieces of legislation which they oversee. The laws which Trading Standards enforces fall within the remit of BEIS, and it has been suggested that BEIS will be among the departments that choose to push back the current deadline.
Some peers have warned that there is “no chance” of the bill passing by the end of the year, citing a lack of “legislative horsepower”. Despite this, the Government has confirmed its commitment to push ahead with the Bill in the face of widespread criticism.
Under its Safeguarding Our Standards campaign, CTSI has previously written to prime minister Rishi Sunak urging him to reconsider the Bill’s introduction. The open letter was co-signed by a coalition of consumer protection experts and organisations including the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers, the Child Accident Prevention Trust, Electrical Safety First and the Institute of Licensing.
The Safeguarding Our Standards campaign also surveyed CTSI members, more than 90% of whom said the Government should delay the introduction of the Bill, citing product safety and food safety as areas of particular concern. CTSI also carried out public polling, which revealed that more than 60% of people think Parliament should be spending its time addressing the cost-of-living crisis. Fewer than 20% of the public said that translating EU law into UK domestic law is a good use of Parliamentary time.
John Herriman, Chief Executive of CTSI, said: “As we enter 2023, it seems the Government is still committed to pursuing the implementation of the Retained EU Law Bill by the end of the year, despite serious reservations from consumer protection and legal experts.
“We continue to urge the Government to rethink its proposals and to allow for extra time to scrutinise the implications of the Bill properly, so consumers and businesses do not lose out.”
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Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
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Friends Against Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.