Five laws the European Union helped stop the Tories from passing

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Sunday 26 June 2016 16:40
Picture: Stefan Rousseau/Getty

The European Union has acted as a regulatory body for the UK and the Brexit win is expected not only impact Britain's economy, but key legislation too.

Here are five areas in which the EU had a hand in preventing the current Conservative government from enacting potentially damaging laws:

1. Human Rights

Back in 2015 part of David Cameron’s manifesto had been to scrap the Human Rights Act, a creation and key requirement of EU membership which provides a whole host of protections, including the right to life, security, freedom from slavery and forced labour, to name a few.

However when Cameron tried to replace the act with the British Bill of Rights, he faced opposition from the EU and from members of his own party, forcing him to kick it into the long grass.

2. The environment

The UK government had attempted to block the EU from enacting legislation that would limit imports of tar sand oils from Canada, which are a greenhouse gas heavy method of making oil for transportation.

Additionally, the British government tried (and failed) to block the EU pesticide ban, which protects bees.

3. Air pollution

In 2015 the Conservative government tried to block EU legislation which would force member states to conduct random emission checks on cars.

The legislation was passed, and the UK was heavily criticised for attempting to block it on the grounds it was an "administrative burden for industry and government".

4. Animal welfare

The EU has been instrumental in the formation of animal welfare codes in the UK. In 2012 the EU were successful in banning barren cages for battery hens, and in 2013 sow stalls, which keep pigs in confined spaces all their lives, were also banned.

The Conservative government has put de-regulatory policies on animal welfare on the table, including plans to repeal the welfare codes.

5. Workers' rights

The EU safeguards employee rights by ensuring that paid holidays, protected overtime pay for full and part-time workers as well as the right for workers to strike is upheld by the UK.

The Tories attempted to pass the Trade Union Bill last year - which would cripple workers' right to take strike action - but he was prevented from doing so by heavy criticism from the EU and the House of Lords.

The bill was shelved in April 2016 in an attempt to get workers' unions onside ahead of the June EU referendum.

Now we've left, it could be back on the table.

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