The Government has announced a change of plan on the abolition of retained EU law and its replacement by purely domestic law. This is reflected in proposed Government amendments to be made during the Report Stage of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill in the House of Lords next week.
Instead of abolishing all retained EU law not specifically saved (and committing to get rid of even that body of law by end 2026) some 600 pieces of retained EU law set out in the proposed amendments will be specifically repealed. The rest will (as previously planned) become “assimilated law” and be subject to changes in their status and interpretation designed to ensure the supremacy of domestic law over the assimilated law.
Many objections to the Bill, based on the lack of Parliamentary scrutiny of replacement legislation, seem likely to fall away. In particular, it is now clear that important measures such as the Rome I and II Regulations on choice of law are no longer at risk of arbitrary repeal without careful consideration of what should be put in place.
There may however still be concerns regarding the Bill’s sweeping powers to amend, restate or revoke retained EU law, as well as the potential for uncertainty caused by the changes to how retained EU law is to be interpreted (with the revocation of the principle of EU supremacy and other general principles of EU law) and the provisions encouraging courts to depart from retained EU case law – see our blog post on the previous version of the Bill which outlines these aspects.
For more information see this post on our Beyond Brexit blog.