Boris Johnson asks business leaders what EU rules to ditch now Brexit complete

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Conservative Party leader and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, wears a face mask leaving 10 Downing Street to head to Parliament in London, England, on January 6, 2021. MPs vote today on whether to approve the England-wide coronavirus lockdown announced by the prime minister on Monday night. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask leaving 10 Downing Street to head to Parliament in London, England, on January 6, 2021. Photo: David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is asking business leaders to help him decide which EU rules to keep and which to ditch now that Britain has finally left the EU.

Johnson asked 250 business leaders for their input on reform during a call on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported. The prime minister said he wanted to hear what rules should be reformed in order to make life easier for businesses.

In a statement, Downing Street said Johnson “committed to working with British businesses to realise the vast opportunities on offer as the UK forges an independent future”. A spokesperson declined to comment further on the detail of the call.

Johnson was joined on the call by chancellor Rishi Sunak, business secretary Alok Sharma, and trade secretary Liz Truss, according to the statement. Details of the business leaders present were not shared.

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Britain’s transition out of the EU ended on 1 January 2021, giving the UK power to set its own rules independently of Brussels. The majority of EU laws are on British statue books and have been retained for now, but Johnson’s Conservative Party has consistently said it wants to repeal so called Brussels “red tape” once the Brexit process completed.

Former MEP Daniel Hannan, a leading figure in the Brexit movement, published an article on Wednesday calling on the government to abolish regulatory barriers to business to help the UK economy recover from its COVID-19 slump.

“What can governments do to stimulate growth? They can stop putting barriers between businesses and their customers,” Hannan wrote in the article for the ConservativeHome website.

Hannan suggested repealing EU legislation including: the Temporary Workers’ Directive, which guarantees rights for temp workers; the REACH Directive, which requires companies to prove the chemicals they use are safe for humans; the End of Life Vehicles Directive, which sets recycling targets for scrap cars; GDPR, which governs how people’s data is handled online; and bans on genetically modified food.

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