Public opinion opposes aims of REUL Bill

The i newspaper recently published a poll about attitudes to the EU. The poll reveals that rejoining the EU is slightly more popular than staying out of the EU and a lot more prefer a closer relationship to the EU to boost trade with the bloc. Both of these preferences are incompatible with the aims of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. While UKMA has no position on British membership of the EU or on the UK-EU relationship, UKMA opposes the REUL Bill because it threatens a lot of existing weights and measures legislation. REUL aims to scrap or reform all EU-derived laws by the 31 December 2023 deadline, when they expire by default if nothing is done.

Adults were asked the following question about their views on the UK’s relationship with the EU:

“Which of the following is closest to your view of what the Government should do when it comes to our economic relationship with the EU?

  1. Have a closer relationship to boost our trade with EU countries, even if this means having to follow more EU rules and regulations.
  2. Keep our existing relationship so we are less subject to EU rules and regulations, even if this means more difficulties trading with EU countries.
  3. Don’t know.
  4. Prefer not to say.”

47% opted for a closer relationship (option 1), 36% opted for the existing relationship (option 2), 16% said “don’t know” and 1% said “prefer not to say”.

Adults were asked the following question about rejoining the EU:

“Should the UK rejoin the European Union or stay out of it?

  1. Rejoin the EU.
  2. Stay out of the EU.
  3. Don’t know.
  4. Prefer not to say.”

45% said rejoin, 41% said stay out, 13% said don’t know and 1% said prefer not to say.

There are a lot more people who prefer a closer relationship with the EU than the existing relationship and rejoining the EU is slightly more popular than staying out. UKMA is neutral on both of these issues. However, it is clear that a closer EU relationship and rejoining the EU are incompatible with the aims of the REUL Bill. The REUL Bill is designed to cause a divergence between British and EU standards and its aims are out of step with public opinion.

Leading figures in the ruling Conservative Party have expressed a desire to scrap or reform all EU-derived laws on the British statute book. This will result in a more distant relationship with the EU.

It is not just an academic issue. It threatens to undermine consumer protection. Consumer protection, through the use of a single system of measurement units for all official purposes, is very much one of the UKMA campaign’s goals. The threat that the REUL Bill poses to this goal concerns UKMA greatly.

Notes:
BMG Research carried out a poll, which was published in the i weekend newspaper (edition: Saturday & Sunday 3-4 December 2022). BMG Research interviewed a representative sample of 1571 adults in Great Britain online between 29 November and 1 December.

Sources:

One thought on “Public opinion opposes aims of REUL Bill”

  1. An interesting article appeared in today’s “Times”. Mark Driver, owner of the Rathfinny Estate (Vineyard) in Sussex complained that the Government have not made any progress of their promise to permit champagne sales in one pint bottles – he has 5800 50cl bottles of champagne in his warehouse awaiting customers. The article goes on to say that the Department of Business has declined to explain the reason for the delay, but have said that a review was planned in due course.

    Anybody who read the text of the Government’s Imperial Unit consultation sh9oudl have noticed that alcoholic drinks were expressly excluded from that consultation as another consultation would be following in due course. For the record, the Imperial Units Consolation closed on 26 August and according to Government guidelines the results of the consolation should have been published by 18 November, but over 100,000 responses have been received and the BEIS has to wade its way through all of those responses before analysing them.

    It will ne interesting to see what the next consultation brings – will there be a mention of 50 cl bottles of wine and champagne, or will the proposal be for pints? In my view, the one advantage of the 50 cl bottle is that it is easier to monitor one’s alcohol intake than if one has pint bottles. (A 50 cl bottle of 12% wine contains 6 units of alcohol).

    Like

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