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Celebrating REUL Bill success

10 July 2023

THE ROYAL Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), peers and business leaders came together at the House of Lords on 4 July to celebrate the power of collaborative working and to mark the Government’s U-Turn on scrapping vital health and safety laws as part of the Retained EU Law Bill.

The event was led by CEO Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s life president, Lord Jordan of Bournville, and RoSPA’s relationships director, Rebecca Hickman.

RoSPA was at the fore of the campaign against the REUL Bill’s approach, with its key ask, ‘no revocation without consultation.’ At the start of RoSPA’s campaign at the end of 2022, the Government proposed to scrap over 235 health and safety laws that spanned six Government departments. This did not include the health and safety laws related to food standards, medicine, aviation, or infrastructure. 

By examining ONS mortality data, RoSPA estimates that safety standards across Britain have saved over 125,000 lives over the last 50 years, on average 2,560 a year

RoSPA’s campaign against the REUL Bill’s approach and amendment tabled by Baroness Jolly saw over 500 supporters from many different sectors, organisations and members – from the BoHS and PACTS to health and safety managers and business leaders across the country. 

Now, after collective pressure from RoSPA and its allies, the Government U-turned on its original approach and has since confirmed these vital safety laws will not be included in the Bill. 

Rebecca Hickman, RoSPA’s relationships director said, “When we come together, truly great things can happen – this campaign, and our collective success, encapsulates this perfectly.

“I am genuinely proud that we were able to mobilise and respond to this threat with such knowledge and conviction, and while the RoSPA team is small, our mission is huge. Thank you to every person and organisation who joined our plight – it just goes to show that the health and safety community is a force to be reckoned with.

“While we can say our campaign has been a success, we are keeping a watchful eye on what happens next and remain alert to the very real threat of deregulation.” 

Lord Jordan, RoSPA’s life peer said, “Back in February when RoSPA’s representatives in the Lords along with other MPs drew attention to the serious consequences of the Retained EU Law Bill the prospect of changing the Government’s mind on the issue did not look hopeful.

“But then, RoSPA’s voice became louder, and the message ‘no revocation without consultation’ was spreading far and wide. It was the relentless, unchallengeable arguments that were made on the floor of both houses that eventually made the Government realise the Bill could not continue in its current form.

“RoSPA’s campaign was matched by superb organisation by other stakeholders, front benchers, whips and staff of Liberal and Labour parties – and this victory would not have been possible without everyone mobilising together. 

“While we can celebrate, we will be keeping a watchful eye on what happens next and will remain wholly alert to the threat of deregulation and undemocratic Parliamentary processes.”