Commenting on the Great Repeal Bill White Paper, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business communities around the UK want day-one certainty on the rules and regulations they will face when the UK leaves the EU. For that reason, the premise of stability and continuity at the heart of the Great Repeal Bill is welcome.
“A legislative transition of this size and scope has never before been implemented, and we will be watching carefully to ensure there are no unintended consequences for individual firms, for sectors or for business communities as a whole.
“The government must be exceedingly careful in its use of proposed fast-track powers, or risk blighting businesses with additional costs and burdens. As we have seen in the past, it takes only takes one poorly-drafted regulation to spark expensive court cases with wide-reaching consequences – and we are talking here about re-drafting thousands of pieces of the rule-book.
“In the fullness of time, businesses want to work with government to determine areas where maintaining equivalence with EU law is in our national economic interest, and areas where some divergence and change may be required. This will be a complex endeavor – better done right than done quickly.”
Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, added their comments by saying: “We welcome the Government’s aim to give businesses certainty as the UK leaves the EU, as clarity and continuity on rules will be vital for business planning and investment. This is vital for companies to continue creating jobs and prosperity across all the UK regions and nations.
“Transposing EU rules into UK law will be complex process, especially for heavily regulated sectors like financial services, automotive and pharmaceuticals. Businesses will also need to know that they won’t face a cliff-edge at the end of the two-year Article 50 process.
“A key objective during the negotiations should be continued access to EU markets for UK firms by cooperating on regulation. Business will want to see more details from the Government on how this may be achieved.
“Having a different set of rules with our biggest trading partner could add significant complexity and costs, which would be most keenly felt by smaller firms.
“Once the UK has left the EU, the Government should explore targeted opportunities for regulatory flexibility in consultation with business, but not at the expense of access to international markets.
“While the Great Repeal Bill is an important piece of the jigsaw, it must go hand-in-hand with securing some early wins in the Brexit negotiations to give businesses confidence that the UK and EU will achieve a successful outcome.
“We are calling on the business community to engage with the government on the Great Repeal Bill as it will affect almost every company across the UK.”