Brexit and Health & Safety
While the political agenda continues to be dominated by Brexit, the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ situation, and in-party backlashes and disagreements, industry, the business world and indeed the country awaits the outcome of talks with Brussels.
Earlier in the year, on 26th June 2018, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 received Royal Assent, making it law. It repeals the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) on the day the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
With much of the UK’s health and safety legislation deriving from EU policy, extricating UK health and safety law from the EU seems a daunting prospect. And while many may see Brexit as providing the chance to strip away unnecessary ‘red tape’, the impact on UK health and safety law is yet unknown.
A recent report from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and health and safety firm Arco, called for the current health and safety landscape to be maintained when the UK leaves the EU. Indeed, there have been questions raised over whether stripping back the UK’s legislation will do more harm than good. But for those concerned that Brexit will mean a dilution of health and safety law, it is worth remembering that the UK’s membership of the EU was preceded by the main health and safety statute in the UK – the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. And it’s likely that any changes to health and safety law will be slow.
For more information on current legislation from the HSE, should we leave the EU with a no deal Brexit click here.