Introduction to retained EU law
Introduction to retained EU law

The following Public Law guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Introduction to retained EU law
  • What is retained EU law?
  • How is retained EU law defined?
  • EU-derived domestic legislation
  • Direct EU legislation
  • Saving for certain rights etc recognised under ECA 1972 s 2(1)
  • Summary of inclusions and exclusions
  • Publication of retained EU law
  • Retained case law
  • Modification of retained EU law
  • more

This Practice Note provides an introduction to retained EU law, which is an entirely new legal concept introduced to UK domestic law in preparation for Brexit. It provides an overview of the key definitions and concepts with reference to the relevant provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018).

Examination of broader provisions of the EU(W)A 2018, and the particular arrangements and variations for the UK devolved administrations, is beyond the scope of this Practice Note. Assessment of specific instruments, provisions or rights etc (as to whether or not they are retained) is also out of scope

What is retained EU law?

Retained EU law is a legal concept describing EU-derived rights and legislation the UK plans to preserve in UK law after Brexit. It is a defined term under the EU(W)A 2018, and the collective term given to the body of EU-derived laws the UK plans to preserve and convert into domestic UK law once the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972) comes into full effect.

Originally, retained EU law was intended to take effect on the day the UK ceased to be a Member State of the EU (exit day). This was amended by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (EU(WA)A 2020), in order to reflect the transitional arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement agreed