Sunak vows to scrap EU red tape in 100 days as Tory leadership race tightens

16 July 2022, 23:46

Rishi Sunak has pledged to scrap EU red tape
Rishi Sunak has pledged to scrap EU red tape. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Rishi Sunak has vowed to scrap EU red tape within 100 days of becoming PM as he continues to fight for his place in the Tory leadership race.

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The former Chancellor pledged that he will 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 time of the next election - if he follows in Boris Johnson's footsteps as PM.

He explained that he would task a Brexit minister and a new Brexit Delivery Department with reviewing all 2,400 EU laws transferred over to the UK statute book post Brexit.

The first set of recommendations as to whether each law should be scrapped or reformed would be published within his first 100 days in the job.

The announcement comes in a bid to win over pro-Brexit MPs and Tory members ahead of the final ballots of MPs this week.

The five Conservative leadership candidates are due to take part in a second televised debate on Sunday.

Read more: Tory leadership hopeful Tom Tugendhat: 'I'm running to give people a choice'

Read more: Tory leadership hopefuls grilled on trust in politics in first live TV debate

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Sunak said: "I strongly believe that I made the right decision in backing the Leave campaign. Because of Brexit, 21st century Britain will be a sovereign, global, free-trading nation with full control over its laws, regulations and international trade policy.

"While we got Brexit done, however, there is so much more to do now to capitalise on the freedoms it gave us and to ditch the mass of thousands of unnecessary EU laws and regulations holding us back.

"Today I make a promise. If I am elected prime minister, by the time of the next general election I will have scrapped or reformed all of the EU law, red tape and bureaucracy that is still on our statute book and slowing economic growth.

"As Prime Minister, I would task a new Brexit Delivery Department with reviewing all of the remaining 2,400 laws on our statute book – with the first set of recommendations as to whether each law should be scrapped or reformed being published within my first 100 days in the job.

"We need to remove power from faceless regulators and give that power to MPs in our Parliament. I would demand results from the Civil Service and Government, with my Brexit Minister producing an annual public report on the progress towards delivering our growth opportunities, and the scrapping or reforming of the other 2,400 EU laws still on our statute book."

Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch have also promised to slash red tape in order to boost growth and Penny Mordaunt has insisted he experience on the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee can work in her favour when it comes to delivering Brexit.

Meanwhile, Tom Tugendhat, who is the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, has focused on housing in his proposals, saying his "dream" of his children being able to afford their own home was "turning into a nightmare".

Friday's first televised debate saw Ms Mordaunt come under fire over her plans for tax cuts and her record on transgender issues.

A snap poll of viewers suggested Mr Tugendhat - who trailed in fifth place in the last ballot of MPs - came out on top on the night, with 36 per cent saying he was the strongest performer.

Meanwhile, the Opinium survey, put Rishi Sunak second on 24 per cent, with Ms Mordaunt and Ms Badenoch tied on third with 12 per cent and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss fifth on 7 per cent.

Former Chancellor Mr Sunak attacked calls by his rivals for immediate tax cuts paid for by increased borrowing as a "fairytale".