The status of EU law in the UK after Brexit
Produced in partnership with Carl Gardner of Head of Legal
The status of EU law in the UK after Brexit

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Carl Gardner of Head of Legal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The status of EU law in the UK after Brexit
  • Effect of Brexit on EU law in the UK
  • Application of EU law in Member States
  • EU Treaties
  • EU Regulations
  • EU Directives
  • Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Effect of Brexit on UK law
  • The European Communities Act 1972
  • UK 'gateway' for directly applicable and directly effective EU law
  • More...

This Practice Note provides background reading on the key forms and principles of EU law and legislation, examining the impact of Brexit on EU-derived law and legislation in the UK.

For further reading on this subject, see Practice Notes: Brexit—key legislation explained and Introduction to retained EU law. For further reading on Brexit generally, see: Brexit toolkit.

Effect of Brexit on EU law in the UK

The UK ceased to be an EU Member State at 11 pm on 31 January 2020 (exit day). As of that point, directly applicable EU law ceased to apply to the UK under the EU Treaties and the UK ceased to be bound by the obligations under those treaties, which require EU Member States to ensure that their domestic legislation meets the EU obligations set out in EU laws.

EU law itself, and its effect on Member States, is not changed by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU—it continues to apply to the remaining EU Member States as it did before. The UK’s position under EU law is changed—it is governed by the Withdrawal Agreement, an international treaty negotiated by the UK and the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The key legislation giving effect to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in domestic law is the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018), as amended by

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