UK to sunset EU rules – What does this mean?

EU legislation still in place within the UK will be amended, repealed, or replaced under The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 (the Bill) announced by the former Chancellor at his mini-Budget in September.

Under the Bill, most retained EU law will ‘sunset’. As a result, it will expire on 31 December 2023. This means that retained EU law contained in domestic or direct EU legislation will expire on this date unless otherwise preserved or altered.

The supremacy of EU law, general principles of EU law, and directly effective EU rights within the UK will come to an end on this date.

The Government says that this will “give the UK the opportunity to develop new laws that best fit the needs of the country and grow the economy.”

Many of the EU laws retained post-Brexit were part of the withdrawal agreement, which saw legislation duplicated into the UK’s statute books.

The Government believes that this didn’t consider the UK’s own priorities or objectives and it says that the Bill will enable the UK “to remove years of burdensome EU regulation in favour of a more agile, home-grown regulatory approach that benefits people and businesses across the UK.”

It is estimated that around £1 billion worth of red tape could be eliminated by removing retained EU laws and regulations. Despite these proposed changes, the Bill will maintain all commitments to the international obligations required of the UK.

Businesses need to monitor any changes in the law to ensure they remain compliant with their legal and regulatory requirements. If you need assistance reviewing any of your policies and contracts, please speak to us.

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