On 18 August 2019, the UK Government issued a press release stating that the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Steve Barclay MP, had “signed the legislation setting in stone the repeal” of the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972). The press release goes on to say that the repeal of the ECA 1972 will take effect when the UK formally leaves the EU on 31 October 2019.

The Secretary of State has brought into force section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA 2018) which states that the ECA 1972 is repealed on ‘exit day’. Bringing section 1 into force does not immediately repeal the ECA 1972, but instead repeals it on ‘exit day’ which is currently defined by section 20(1) of the EUWA 2018 as 31 October 2019. Other provisions in section 20 provide for the definition of ‘exit day’ to be amended if the date of the UK’s departure from the EU changes.