On 22 September 2022, the House of Commons published the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the Bill).
The Bill is part of the government’s commitment to put the UK statute book on a more sustainable footing.
The Bill includes the following provisions:
- Sun setting retained EU Law – The Bill will end the majority of retained EU law so that it expires on 31 December 2023. All retained EU law contained in domestic secondary legislation and retained direct EU legislation will expire on this date, unless otherwise preserved. The Bill includes an extension mechanism for the sunset of specified pieces of retained EU law until 2026. Should it be required, this will allow government departments additional time where necessary to assess whether some retained EU law should be preserved.
- Ending of supremacy of retained EU law by December 2023 – The Bill will reinstate domestic law as the highest form of law on the UK statute book.
- Assimilated law – Following 31 December 2023, any retained EU law that is preserved will become “assimilated law” to reflect that EU interpretive features no longer apply.
- Facilitating departures from retained EU case law – The Bill will provide domestic courts with greater discretion to depart from retained case law. It will also provide new court procedures for UK and devolved law officers to refer or intervene in cases regarding retained case law.
- Modification of retained EU legislation – The Bill will modify powers in other statutes, to facilitate their use to amend retained direct EU legislation in the same way that they can be used to amend domestic secondary legislation.
- Powers relating to retained EU law – The Bill will create powers to make secondary legislation so that retained EU law can be amended, repealed and replaced more easily.