Rishi Sunak Accused of “Behaving Like a Borgia” as Government Retracts on Post-Brexit Law Revocation Pledge
In a controversial turn of events, Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor, is facing a backlash from the right wing of his party following the Government’s decision to revoke only 600 EU-era laws, falling drastically short of the 4,000 initially pledged.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, former Brexit Secretary, accused Sunak of “behaving like a Borgia”, alleging that he has failed to deliver on his promises.
Sunak’s credibility was openly questioned when Rees-Mogg referenced Sunak’s resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in which Sunak asserted that the public was ready for the truth.
Rees-Mogg remarked, “When Rishi Sunak resigned, he said something that people like me wanted to hear, and has failed to deliver it. It’s no good being holier-than-thou if you then end up behaving like a Borgia.”
Sunak’s controversial pledge to revoke thousands of EU-era laws by the end of 2023 was a key aspect of his unsuccessful bid for Conservative leadership. This move drew criticism from both members of his party and civil servants.
Dave Penman, head of the FDA Union, defended civil servants, describing the deadline as an “inevitability” and the approach as a “bizarre way of doing business”. On the other hand, Rees-Mogg argued that without a deadline, the country would retain EU laws for too long, impeding the UK’s economic competitiveness and inflation reduction.
In response, Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch argued that the Government was still “ending EU supremacy”, but changing the approach. The revised plan involves replacing 600 laws by the end of the year, a far cry from the initial 4,000 target.
The broken promises have stirred unrest among Conservative MPs, prompting urgent questions in Parliament, and visits to the chief whip, Simon Hart, and Downing Street to express concern. However, some backbenchers supported the revised plan, praising its pragmatism.
This controversy has reignited debates within the Conservative Party over the extent and pace of divergence from Europe post-Brexit, casting a shadow over the party’s unity.