Businesses, families and hardworking people in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields are astounded and dismayed by this irresponsible, reckless and undemocratic legislative bonfire and power grab by this Tory Government.

Three hundred people and counting have got in touch with me about this Bill. They are appalled and staggered that the Government is going ahead with this.

This Bill automatically repeals nearly 2,500 pieces of legislation at the end of this year, many of which protect rights that they rely on, with little or no democratic scrutiny.

It could be another 1,200 pieces of legislation that were uncovered by the National Archive during the Bill committee too.

Current laws due to be deleted cover every aspect of life in the UK including hard fought environmental and employment rights and protections:

– Habitat protections
– Compensation for delayed trains or flights,
– the right to paid annual leave,
– Equal pay and bank holidays,
– Rules governing the use of cancer-causing chemicals in cosmetics and in our water systems,
– Minimum standards to ensure planes are safe to fly,
– Requirements for parental leave and pay,
– Disease control for bird flu
– and pension protection when a company goes bust.

Despite the huge impact this will have on my constituent’s lives, the Government has admitted that they do not even yet know what laws are affected or what – if anything – will replace them.

The Government’s impact assessment said that it doesn’t know what the impact of removing these Bills will have, and only analysed the impact on legislation.

Worse still, the legislation requires government to confirm its view of those standards at a pace that we – and no doubt civil servants – all know is totally unachievable unless they find a way to pause space and time by 31 December 2023.

Then there is the economic costs. Environmental groups believe that the economic costs of removing or weakening laws in just four of the areas covered by this bill could reach £82.94bn over thirty years

This could be the invoice we get for the damage caused by poorer air and water quality and loss of recycling business opportunities due to weaker chemical regulations.

And in the current economic climate, the last thing small businesses in Putney need is more uncertainty.

These measures only offer uncertainty to businesses and customers who are already reeling from an economic crisis made in Downing Street.

The Conservatives’ reckless approach has crashed our economy and now they want to apply that same recklessness to our laws.

In terms of how it affects you, there are three areas of this Bill that I am particularly concerned about: the environment, workers rights and democracy.

Putney suffers from some of the worst air pollution in Europe, is under the Heathrow flight path and has fragile but thriving green spaces that rely on legal protections.

So it is hugely concerning that this Bill risks leaving such a big vacuum in environmental law.

It puts at risk thousands of laws that are crucial not only to conserving, and restoring the natural environment, but also to protecting public health, and creating a sustainable economy.

In fact, it represents an attempt to deliver the single biggest modification of environmental law in the UK in recent history.

Environmental organisations are all united in their disgust at this Bill.

Take water, for instance.

Something like 80% of water legislation exists as a legacy of our previous membership of the European Union. As you can imagine then, this bill is giving the Water Industry cold sweats.

This includes chemical standards from the priority substances list.

As Stuart Colville, Director of Policy at Water UK puts it:

“This Bill means the potential arbitrary termination of EU Directives hangs a swinging sword of Damocles over thousands upon thousands of requirements and clauses protecting rivers, seas and drinking water – many of which are currently shaping specific bits of projects being planned across the country.”

In short, this Bill will be a complete disaster for our environment and I find it staggering that they are going ahead with it.

It means the potential swinging of the scythe over your hard-won workers’ rights, too.

This Bill gives the Secretary of State huge powers to mess with hard fought protections for workers, consumers and our environment with next to no scrutiny.

How does the Government expect MPs to trust them to keep the high standards that British people rightly expect?

This is a Government trying to restrict the right to strike, still hasn’t introduced the oft-promised Employment Bill and has a Secretary of State who is on the record stating his objection to paid holiday leave.

I would not trust this Government with workers’ rights as far as I could throw.

The gender pay gap in 2022 was sitting at 11.3%, and that statutory maternity pay in the UK already ranks among some of the worst in Europe. We simply cannot afford to row back on our hard-won gains.

And as an MP, it also makes me so angry that this Bill will take away my vote and my say on behalf of the constituents who voted for me, on fundamental workers’ rights such as those to paid parental leave and equal pay for equal work.

It didn’t need to be this way.

Holding on to legislation until it can be improved should have been the default position. This will take time but would stop the uncertainty, maintain control of Parliament and ensure that all changes are the ones that the British people want instead of a massive scramble by Ministers to sign off swatches of changes for an arbitrary date.

I support the Frontbench amendments to protect a key list of workers protections like holiday pay, TUPE and maternity leave, and moving the sunset clause from 2023 to 2026.

This brings me on to Stella Creasy’s amendment which I am gladly supporting.

This amendment would require the Government to publish an exhaustive list of every piece of legislation being revoked under the Sunset Clause, and allow for Parliamentary oversight of this process so that it is the House of Commons which has the ultimate say on which legislation is affected.

Restoring democratic control starts with setting out clearly what legislation this bill covers.

This amendment is entirely reasonable and has support from all parties.

A disaster for the environment. A disaster for workers’ rights. A disaster for democracy.

The Retained EU law bill is a disgrace and I will be opposing it at every opportunity I am given.

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