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UK Officials Want Sunak to Delay ‘Bonfire’ of EU Laws Until 2026

  • Economic headwinds have put Brexit into stark political focus
  • Pushing back deadline risks new spat with Tory Brexiteers
Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak

Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Rishi Sunak has received requests from senior civil servants to delay a planned “bonfire” of legislation dating from the UK’s membership of the European Union by three years until 2026, in the latest blow to his government’s efforts to show there are benefits of Brexit.

Officials across several government departments told ministers that deadline to remove about 4,000 pieces of EU-derived laws from the British statute book by Dec. 31, 2023 will be hard to meet, according to three people familiar with internal discussions. The revelation comes after an alliance of business, environmental and worker groups urged the government this week to drop the plans.