BoJo Vows to 'Further Unleash Benefits of Brexit' as Gov't Touts Bill on Easier Removal of EU Laws

© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthIn this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, an anti-Brexit campaigner waves European Union and British Union flags outside Parliament in London
In this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, an anti-Brexit campaigner waves European Union and British Union flags outside Parliament in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Britain has retained a number of EU laws since officially leaving the bloc on 31 January 2020, with Tory Brexiteers calling on the government to take advantage of Brexit.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to "further unleash the benefits of Brexit", vowing to reduce £1 billion ($1.3 billion) worth of red tape for British businesses.
The statement comes as Monday marks the second anniversary of Britain officially leaving the EU.

Johnson underscored that "getting Brexit done two years ago today was a truly historic moment and the start of an exciting new chapter for" the UK.

He added that the country has made "huge strides since then to capitalise on" its "newfound freedoms and restore the UK's status as a sovereign, independent country that can determine its own future".

"The plans we have set out today will […] ensure that businesses can spend more of their money investing, innovating, and creating jobs", the PM said.

Attorney General Suella Braverman, for her part, stressed that creating a mechanism to grapple with retained EU laws was "essential", something that "underpins" Britain's "ability to grasp important opportunities provided by Brexit".
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference to update the nation on the Covid-19 booster vaccine program in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.01.2022
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She said that it means Britain "can move away from outdated EU laws that were the result of unsatisfactory compromises within the EU, some of which the UK voted and lobbied against - but was required to adopt without question".
Labour Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry was not that optimistic, noting that "for all this talk from the government about the potential legislative freedom we have outside the EU, they still refuse to make a concrete change the Labour Party has been demanding in this area for months, which is the removal of VAT [value added tax] on people's energy bills".

"The British public overwhelmingly support Labour's proposed change, and it is time the government started listening", she added.

During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Johnson's Vote Leave campaign praised a cut to VAT on energy bills as one of the potential benefits of Brexit. Earlier in January, however, Tory MPs voted against a Labour motion to slash VAT on household energy bills.
The PM's Monday statement comes as the government is set to bring forward the so-called Brexit Freedoms Bill, which aims to make it easier for Downing Street to amend or remove laws retained from Britain's 47-year EU membership.
A hat hangs on a coat stand in front of the Union flag (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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Aside from cutting £1 billion in red tape for British businesses, the legislation will also help "ease regulatory burdens and contribute to the government's mission to unite and level up the country", according to a Downing Street press release.

"The bill is also expected to end the special status that EU law still enjoys in our legal framework. Despite our exit from the bloc, EU laws made before 1 January 2020 continue to have precedence in our domestic framework. This is simply not compatible with our status as a sovereign, independent country and the government will bring it to an end as quickly as possible", the press release stated.

This is expected to build on the work of former Cabinet Minister Lord David Frost, who said in November 2021, that the government has not "successfully rolled back the frontiers of the European Union from Britain with Brexit, only to import that European model after all this time". Frost resigned in December 2021 over what he described as "concerns about the current direction of travel" of Johnson's government.
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