26 September 2022
To ease the transition period following the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 was introduced to allow the UK to retain key pieces of EU law, affording it a special status within UK domestic law. However, on 22 September 2022, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill was introduced to Parliament with the aim of revoking this special status, allowing the UK to amend, repeal and replace all EU legislation.
Under the Bill, any remaining EU law will expire on 31 December 2023, unless it has otherwise been preserved in domestic law or an extension has been granted, available up to 2026, to allow policymakers more time to evaluate the law. The Bill marks a major step in the next phase of the Brexit proceedings.
Whilst the Bill is still to be debated, when it passes, there will be a considerable impact on many UK business sectors, with the Government aiming to introduce policies that help stimulate business growth, innovation and job creation. As outlined in the policy document published by the Government earlier this year, titled “The Benefits of Brexit: How the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU”, the following key changes have been proposed:
- Simplification of the reporting burdens for small and medium companies, with a review of the filing requirements and thresholds set by EU law, with an overall aim of reducing the burden on small companies;
- Reform of the current financial services regulations to introduce high regulatory standards, providing the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority with new powers;
- Data law reform to allow data protection regulation to be more agile and adaptable and to maintain a high level of consumer confidence;
- A new, pro-innovation approach to artificial intelligence;
- The EU Port Services Regulation will be repealed and replaced by regulation that takes into account the mostly privatised nature of the UK port sector; and
- A new UK regime for digital markets is to be introduced to promote innovation and competition and to introduce greater certainty, trust and confidence in the UK tech market for innovators, investors and consumers.
Whilst the resulting legislation has yet to be drafted, with these reforms, businesses will need to prepare for upcoming changes. With sectors such as financial services facing increased regulation and the potential for EU market requirements to differ from domestic law requirements, it is likely that businesses will need to adjust their working practices and introduce new measures to ensure compliance.
Our corporate team will be keeping the situation under review and we will be in a position to provide prompt commercial advice when required.
Jeremy Glen, Partner: email@example.com / 0141 221 8012
Erin Findlay, Trainee Solicitor: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0141 221 8012