Kemi Badenoch told Tory Eurosceptic MPs that only 20% of the EU legislation vowed to be scrapped by the Prime Minister by the end of the year will make it onto the Brexit Bonfire.
The Trade Secretary told the European Research Group (ERG) that civil employees told her it would be difficult to eliminate all 4,000 redundant EU rules, and that the vast bulk of these legislation are in the environment department.
Rishi Sunak previously supported the Retained EU Law Bill in January, which aims to cut 4,000 EU laws worth of red tape, but some Conservatives are concerned that the Bill will be watered down before it returns to the House of Lords on May 15.
An ERG source said: “After the No10 games over the Windsor Framework, this just rubs further salt in the wounds.
“As more days go by, it is clear who is running the show. When will those who truly want us to prosper outside the EU stand up to this ongoing betrayal?
“It sadly seems like the PM’s pledges are becoming increasingly meaningless.”
Several Conservative MPs are outraged by the apparent surrender to the civil service and hollowing out of legislation, viewing it as yet another betrayal in the aftermath of No10’s new agreement with the EU on Northern Ireland trade regulations.
According to a Downing Street readout, the Prime Minister stated in January that repealing EU laws “could be a collective effort across Cabinet that had the potential to drive growth and improve people’s everyday lives.”
Sunak is still at odds with Brexiteer Tory MPs over the fate of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which is presently being debated in the House of Lords.
While Brexiteers believe Sunak indicated he would proceed with the Bill, the Prime Minister published the Windsor Framework papers, which propose an alternate method of addressing the Northern Ireland power-sharing issue.