Retained EU Law: Sunset clause removed

Friday 19th May 2023

The Government has announced a significant change to the Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill. This Bill seeks to enable the Government to more easily repeal, amend or replace any Retained EU Law, which was incorporated into the UK’s legal system following the end of the transition period.

Originally, any Retained EU Law which has not been codified into UK law by 31 December 2023 was to be repealed. This provision, known as the sunset clause, has now been removed. With such a far-reaching body of law and a short timeframe for review, concern had been expressed about the potential for significant instability, legal uncertainty, increased litigation and the likely adverse effects on business and investment.

Instead, Retained EU Law will remain binding in the UK unless it is expressly repealed. The Bill will contain a list of Retained EU Laws that the Government intends to repeal, effective 31 December 2022, but anything not listed will remain in place.

All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.