Liz Truss, the leading candidate to succeed Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister, has pledged to repeal all remaining European Union laws still applicable in Britain by 2023 if she wins the Conservative Party leadership contest.
Secretary of State Truss will take on former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak in a race to bring to justice the 200,000 members of the Conservative Party, who will vote over the summer to elect the country’s new prime minister .
Britain’s relationship with Europe remains a major concern for its membership in the Conservative Party, which is generally characterized as more Eurosceptic than the wider population.
Hoping to take advantage of that, Truss, who campaigned to “stay” in the 2016 referendum but is now seen as the heir to Johnson’s pro-Brexit position, pledged to scrap all remaining EU laws from the law books.
To avoid uncertainty and confusion as Britain broke away from the EU after 40 years of membership, the government automatically adopted thousands of EU laws and regulations into UK law so that they would still apply after Brexit.
“EU regulations are hindering our businesses and this needs to change,” Truss said in a statement. The statement said she laid out her credentials as the prime minister of “Brexit delivery”.
“In Downing Street, I will seize the opportunity to deviate from outdated EU legislation and frameworks and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”
The government has already set out its intention to replace or repeal existing EU laws, but had not set a deadline.
Truss’s deadline of 2023 is earlier than a similar pledge from Sunak, who campaigned for Brexit in 2016 but was vilified by some corners of the Conservative Party for raising taxes to the highest level in decades.
Sunak said EU law would be scrapped or reformed in the next elections, expected to be held in 2024. Truss leads Sunak by 62% to 38% among members of the Conservative party, according to a YouGov poll on Thursday.
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