Rishi Sunak looks set to fail to complete a promised “bonfire” of 4,000 EU-era laws this year after Tory Brexiteers were told only one in five is likely to be taken off the statute book.
Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch told a meeting of the European Research Group that the Government would only be able to remove 800 of the retained laws before the end of 2023.
Sources close to Ms Badenoch declined to deny the remarks as reported by the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times.
But Brexiteers have been concerned that the proposed law, which has worried businesses and trade unions, was being delayed during its passage from Parliament.
A Government spokesman said ministers continue to support to the Bill and removing “unnecessary” EU laws but would not recommit completing the cull by the end of the year.
“We remain committed to ensuring the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill receives royal assent and that the supremacy of EU law ends with unnecessary and burdensome EU laws removed by the end of this year,” he said in a statement.
“Once passed, the Bill will enable the country to further seize the opportunities of Brexit by ensuring regulations fit the needs of the UK, helping to grow our economy and drive innovation.”