Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill introduced to Parliament

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (known as the ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’) is set to remove the prioritised status of EU law that was retained by the UK post Brexit. It shall make it easier for Parliament to amend, repeal or replace the estimated 2,400 pieces of retained EU law in the UK.

The Brexit Freedoms Bill contains a sunset date by which all EU law that has been retained must either be revoked or assimilated into UK law. This will impact many different provisions, notably in a data protection context the UK GDPR and significant European data protection case law.

The Brexit Freedoms Bill has the following key provisions:

  • Sunsetting Retained EU law: the majority of retained EU Law will expire on 31 December 2023, unless it is otherwise preserved, or can be extended to no later than 23 June 2026, the ten years anniversary of the referendum.
  • Ending supremacy of retained EU law: the UK Government will ensure domestic UK legislation takes priority over retained direct EU legislation.
  • Assimilated law: any retained EU law preserved after 31 December 2023 will be assimilated and the EU interpretation features will no longer apply.
  • Facilitating departures from retained EU case law: the Brexit Freedoms Bill will provide domestic UK courts with greater discretion to depart from retained case law.
  • Modification of retained EU law: the status of retained direct EU legislation will be downgraded; and powers in other statutes will be modified to facilitate their use to amend retained EU legislation more easily; subject to appropriate consideration.

In the absence of any indication from the government as to which regulations it intends to revoke, retain or amend under the Brexit Freedoms Bill (or any timelines for when this information will be provided), it can only be speculated. There are several areas that may be amended such as TUPE, Working Time Regulations, Agency Worker Regulations, GDPR, discrimination compensation, and reporting obligations on the genders pay gap.  

The government is maintaining a dashboard of the status of retained EU law.

Leave a Comment

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.