Q&As

How will UK equality and human rights law differ post-Brexit?

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Produced in partnership with Mathias Cheung of Atkin Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 15/03/2019

The following Public Law Q&A Produced in partnership with Mathias Cheung of Atkin Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How will UK equality and human rights law differ post-Brexit?
  • Starting point―impact of European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
  • Continuing protection of EU-based equality and human rights law
  • Devolution
  • No deal scenario

Starting point―impact of European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

The starting point for this question is the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018), which defines, inter alia, the body of retained EU law to be preserved after the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. For background reading, see Q&A: What is retained EU law?

In the context of equality and human rights law, the following provisions are key:

  1. EU(W)A 2018, ss 2–4 retain all EU-derived domestic legislation, direct EU legislation, and any rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and procedures which are recognised and available in domestic law before exit day. This would cover, for example, the Equality Act 2006, Equality Act 2010 and various domestic legislation relating to workers’ rights. For background reading, see the government’s Repeal Bill White Paper and Factsheet 7: Workers’ rights

  2. EU(W)A 2018, s 5(4) provides that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter) is excluded from retained EU law and will not be part of domestic law after exit day. For background reading, see Practice Note: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and European Convention on Human Rights

  3. EU(W)A 2018, s 6(3) provides that the validity, meaning and effect of retained EU law on equality and human rights law are to be decided by the UK courts in accordance with any retained EU and

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