In yet another win for the Civil Service, the government will pour water over their commitment to remove 4,000 EU laws from the statute book by 2024. Instead, just 800, or one in five, will be repealed. This is according to a briefing given on Monday by Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch to Tory Eurosceptics, as revealed by The Telegraph. In the July leadership contest, Rishi promised he would have “scrapped or reformed all of the EU law, red tape and bureaucracy that is still on our statute book and slowing economic growth” by the next election. In January, he gave his backing to the Retained EU Law Bill, which would see 4,000 removed from the statute book. Unsurprisingly, the Spartans aren’t happy.
The Telegraph quotes one backbencher who pinned the blame on Kemi, for failing to constrain the blob’s remainer instincts:
“You need a tough minister but she is a lame minister who is having rings run around her by ‘Remainer’ officials. We needed a tough minister. Kemi is proving to be a huge disappointment.”
Leadership hopes are faring well, then…
The Treasury had previously argued taking Brexit regulations off the statute books before 2026 would not be feasible. Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary and Rishi ally who served under him at the Treasury, was previously convinced by the orthodoxy. In July, Bloomberg revealed she wrote to Sunak demanding he water down his pledges. The smothering of Rishi’s “Brexit Bonfire” adds to the sense of discontent already felt by Brexit hardliners following the Windsor Framework. By now, nobody should be surprised to see managerialist Rishi again siding with Treasury orthodoxy.