Umunna – Despite David Davis’s speech, others in Cabinet have failed to rule out Brexit deregulation

The Brexit Secretary David Davis will deliver a speech in Vienna tomorrow (Tuesday), in which he well say that Britain is not seeking to use Brexit as an opportunity for a ‘race to the bottom’ on regulations. 

He will also set out two new “principles” that the Government believes should underpin the future economic relationship with the EU, firstly “Britain’s determination to lead a race to the top in global standards” and secondly “the principle of fair competition.” 

However, despite David Davis’s assurances on deregulation, others in Government seem to think differently. Theresa May has repeatedly failed to rule out getting rid of working time regulations, Boris Johnson has said Brexit should be used as an opportunity to scrap “burdensome” EU regulations, whilst Liam Fox has defended the idea of importing chlorine-washed chicken from the USA.


Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, a leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said: 

“David Davis insists that Brexit won’t mean a race to the bottom on everything from workers’ rights to environmental standards but not everyone around the Cabinet table agrees with him. Theresa May has repeatedly failed to rule out scrapping working time regulations, Boris Johnson wants to get rid of the Social Chapter and Liam Fox says he’s in favour of importing chlorinated chicken from the United States.

“In reality, the best way to protect and enhance the high standards that exist in this country is to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union, especially when there is no public appetite for the kind of widespread deregulation favoured by Brextremists on the hard right of the debate.

“Over a year and a half since the Brexit vote, it is damning that the man supposedly in charge of the negotiations on our side is forced to give a speech that is so utterly lacking in any content or vision of how to resolve any of the multitude of problems created by Brexit. If David Davis and his colleagues cannot deliver the Brexit they have promised, then everyone has every right to keep an open mind about whether Brexit is the best path for the country.” 



Notes to editors

For more on Theresa May failing to rule out getting rid of working time regulations, read here.

For more on Boris Johnson calling for “burdensome” EU regulations to be scrapped, read here.

For more on Liam Fox defending the import of chlorine-washed chicken from the US, read here.