Insights House of Commons Public Bill Committee calls for written evidence in relation to Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill was presented to the House of Commons for its first reading on 22 September 2022. Its Commons second reading took place on 25 October 2022.

The Bill would completely overhaul the body of UK domestic law known as “retained EU law” (REUL), which was created by the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA), as amended by the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (EUWAA), and came into existence at the end of the post-Brexit transition period (i.e. at the end of 2020).

Most notably, the Bill would:

  • place a “sunset” on REUL, causing most, but not all, of it to expire at the end of 2023;
  • enable, via statutory instrument, most REUL (if it takes the form of legislative instruments) to be exempted from the sunset;
  • enable the “sunset” to be postponed (for some but not all REUL) until as late as 23 June 2026, via statutory instrument;
  • rename any remaining retained EU law after 2023 “assimilated law”;
  • formally abolish, for wholly domestic law purposes, the principle of supremacy and other general principles of EU law after 2023;
  • enable the effects of supremacy and general principles of EU law to be preserved or recreated in specific cases, via statutory instrument;
  • give the UK courts a new legal framework for reconciling inconsistent sources of law when they include those of EU origin, which ministers can influence via statutory instrument;
  • grant a suite of delegated powers to UK ministers and devolved authorities to revoke, restate, replace or update REUL/assimilated law by statutory instrument;
  • remove or downgrade existing forms of Parliamentary scrutiny of statutory instruments when they propose to modify or revoke law of EU origin;
  • expand the permitted use of Legislative Reform Orders (LROs) so that they can revoke retained direct EU legislation; and
  • abolish the Business Impact Target in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEEA).

The Public Bill Committee will scrutinise the Bill line by line. The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is expected to be on 8 November 2022 and the Committee is scheduled to report by 22 November 2022. However, when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 22 November. Those wishing to submit written evidence are advised to do so as soon as possible. For details on how to submit written evidence to the Committee, click here.