The end of the road for retained EU law

31 July 2023 | Applicable law: England and Wales | 2 minute read

The end of the supremacy of EU law in the UK came about on 29 June 2023 when the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill received Royal Assent.

As we have previously reported the Government eventually withdrew some of its most controversial proposals from the legislation and has identified specific changes to the law rather than providing for the mass repeal of retained EU law at the end of 2023. Instead there will be changes to some 600 specific pieces of legislation. We covered the changes to UK employment law on which the government is consulting here.

The law will nevertheless make significant changes to the relationship between UK law and retained EU law (which is now to be referred to as 'assimilated law'). The law may also change further over time, introducing some uncertainty over principles that might have been regarded as settled. It is not likely that any changes will happen quickly but employers may find that the inherent uncertainty makes some risk assessment more complex. 

One notable change is that employment tribunals will be able to refer points of general public importance to the higher courts if these arise in the cases they are dealing with. This could happen for example in equal pay cases where directly-effective EU law rights on equal pay have ceased to have effect as a result of the Act coming into force.

We will keep you informed as the implications of this quiet revolution begin to make themselves known.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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