European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Great Repeal Bill)

July 2017

The Prime Minister has been clear that she wishes to minimise disruption to businesses and individuals as the UK leaves the EU. That is why the Repeal Bill is being introduced.

This bill will transfer EU law, including the case law of the European Court of Justice, into UK law at the point of the UK’s departure from the EU. This will make sure that the UK has functioning statutes when it leaves the EU and it will provide the maximum amount of certainty, control and continuity.

Workers’ rights, consumer protection and environmental laws will not change and businesses will benefit from this certainty.

Parliament will, of course, be free to keep, amend and repeal laws as it sees fit after this date. There may also be some laws which no longer operate as intended and the bill will provide the power for corrections to be made so that the UK legal system can continue to operate.

At the same time, the Government wants to ensure that power is returned as close as possible to communities as laws are returned to the UK. I expect that there will be a significant increase in the decision making powers of the devolved administrations but I want this approach to work coherently for the whole of the UK.

I can also confirm that the UK will not convert the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. This is because the Charter only applies to EU member states when they act within the scope of EU law. It will no longer be relevant to the UK after withdrawal. This does not mean that the substantive rights of individuals will be affected. This is because the Charter did not create new rights. It simply brought together the rights that already existed in EU law into a single document to make them more visible.

I expect that the UK will remain a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights because this is entirely separate from the EU.