On 17 October 2023, HM Treasury published a draft Statutory Instrument (SI) – the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (Consequential Amendment) Regulations 2023, along with an explanatory memorandum.

The draft SI removes references to retained EU law (REUL) throughout primary legislation and replaces the term with ‘assimilated law’. These changes are made in accordance with the power set out in section 19(1) of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (REUL Act).

The REUL Act renames ‘REUL’ so that after 2023, any REUL remaining in force will be known as “assimilated law”. This is because the changes made by the REUL Act abolishing the principle of EU law supremacy, repealing section 4 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and abolishing general principles of EU law as an aid to interpretation fundamentally changes the nature of REUL. It was therefore appropriate to create a new category of law to reflect the loss of these EU interpretive effects after the end of December 2023.