The House of Commons’ library has published a briefing paper on the Great Repeal Bill (the Bill). The Government has indicated that the Bill would be the first legislative step in the process of leaving the EU.

The Bill has not yet been published. The briefing paper considers issues likely to be raised in the Bill. The Government has indicated that the Bill will be designed to re-establish control over law-making by repealing the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972) and to provide some certainty over the content of the statute book while the UK negotiates its exit from the EU. Once the UK has left, the next legislative stage would be for the Government and Parliament to decide whether it wanted to keep any EU-derived law in UK domestic law.

These plans have raised constitutional and legal questions including:

  • will the Bill seek to remove references to EU institutions and agencies from the EU law which it transposes into domestic law ? (section 4);
  • will the Bill include a Henry VIII power to enable ministers to make changes to primary legislation which gives effect to EU law? (section 5);
  • will the Bill require a legislative consent motion from the devolved legislatures? (section 6); and
  • will the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Court continue to be relied on in domestic courts after transposition? (section 7).

View Legislating for Brexit: the Great Repeal Bill, 21 November 2016