Brexit implementation period—applicable law
Brexit implementation period—applicable law

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit implementation period—applicable law
  • Definitions
  • What is the implementation period?
  • Can the implementation period be extended?
  • What applicable law regime applies during the implementation period?
  • Previous drafts of the Withdrawal Agreement
  • After the implementation period
  • Position up to exit day

This Practice Note considers the rules for determining the applicable law, also known as governing law, as they will apply between the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020 and the end of the implementation period, referred to by the EU as the transition period. It considers whether the implementation period can be extended, whether the applicable law regimes under Regulation (EC) 593/2008, Rome I and Regulation (EC) 864/2007, Rome II apply during the implementation period as well as what will happen at the end of the implementation period.

For a quick reference Brexit research aid that answers key questions on Brexit and includes helpful Brexit updates, research tips and resources, see: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.


This Practice Note using a number of definitions:

  1. European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018—EU(W)A 2018

  2. European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020—EU(WA)A 2020

  3. exit day—is defined in EU(W)A 2018, s 20

  4. implementation period—is defined in EU(WA)A 2020, s 1. ‘Implementation period’ is the UK’s preferred term, while the EU refers to this period as the ‘transition period’

  5. IP completion day—is defined in EU(WA)A 2020, s 39

  6. Joint Committee—is defined in Article 164(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement

  7. Withdrawal Agreement—is defined in the EU(WA)A 2020, s 39(1) as the agreement between the UK and the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty

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