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Consumer rights threatened by Brexit? Lords to investigate

The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee will begin its short inquiry into the implications of Brexit on consumer protection rights on Tuesday 25 April. The Committee will hear evidence from Which? and the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Holidays cancelled at the last minute; personal injury due to defective products; and incorrect food labelling are some of the issues consumers are currently protected against by EU law. However, it remains unclear whether this significant body of EU law that protects the consumer rights of millions of people in the UK will continue to apply after Brexit.

Beyond vague references to the general interests of consumers, the Government's White Paper on Brexit did not address the issue of consumer protection at all. This inquiry seeks to identify the Government's priorities for addressing the rights of consumers during Brexit negotiations and will address issues such as: whether the Great Repeal Bill is robust enough to ensure the continued protection of consumer rights and whether the UK's high standards of protection for consumers is at risk of being  weakened.

At 10:45am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Mr Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns, Which?
  • Mr Matt Upton, Head of Consumer Policy, the Citizens Advice Bureau

The Witnesses will be questioned on:

  • How should the Government conduct consumer protection related aspects of the Brexit negotiations?
  • Which aspects of the EU's consumer protection rules would should be retained when the UK leaves the EU?
  • Are there any negative aspects of the EU consumer acquis that it would be beneficial for the UK to leave after Brexit?
  • What impact will the UK's departure from the EU have on the remaining Member States adherence to current consumer protection standards?
  • Are there important areas of the consumer protection acquis that are not amenable to incorporation into UK law via the Great Repeal Bill? Without alternatives in place, will there be any gaps in the UK's consumer protection laws?

The evidence session will take place at 10.45am on Tuesday 25 April in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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