As prime minister, I would task a new Brexit delivery department with reviewing all of the remaining 2,400 [EU] laws on our statute book.
In an article published by the Telegraph on Saturday, Conservative leadership candidate and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak said there are “2,400 [EU] laws on our statute book”.
He added that, if he became Prime Minister, he would create a new “Brexit delivery department” which would be focused on removing or reforming these laws in order to “capitalise on the freedoms” of Brexit.
However, Mr Sunak’s article fails to state that hundreds of the EU laws he described have already been amended, repealed or replaced.
According to the government’s retained EU law dashboard there are 2,417 items of retained EU law.
Retained EU law is a type of domestic legislation, created at the end of the UK’s transition period with the EU on 31 December 2020. Existing EU laws which applied in the UK—for example, in agriculture, health and safety or manufacturing—were effectively copied and pasted onto the UK’s statute books.
Of the 2,417 items of retained EU law, 182 are marked on the government dashboard as having been amended, meaning they have been substantially changed to alter the intent or outcome of the policy, and 196 have been repealed.
A further 33 are marked as having been replaced, which means they have been repealed and new legislation has been introduced. This means that 2,006 pieces of retained EU legislation remain unchanged.
It’s important to note that while the government’s dashboard is the result of a cross-government exercise to identify retained EU law, it is updated quarterly so may not reflect very recent changes, and it also may not be exhaustive. Some laws included in the dashboard may also be more significant than others.
Full Fact has contacted Mr Sunak for comment.