There are concerns that the government may, during or after the Brexit process, take the opportunity to curtail employment and equality rights that are currently derived from EU law. Following Brexit, even EU-derived rights that are enshrined in UK legislation will no longer have the protection of EU law or the EU courts, and could easily be removed through a domestic parliamentary repeal process.
There is also a problem with the way the Great Repeal Bill would be put into practice: because the government will want to push through legislation efficiently, it has opted to include in the Bill what is known as a ‘Henry VIII’ clause. In short, this means that any EU-derived laws could be altered or discarded without the normal parliamentary scrutiny.
Moreover, as it stands the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has the power to intervene should our government be out of step with EU law. When we leave the EU, the CJEU will no longer have any power over our government. And crucially, gains that have been made through precedents set in CJEU case law may be lost.
We will assess each of these dangers and present options for mitigating them and ensuring employment and equality rights are protected.