On 10 December 2018, HM Treasury published a draft version of The Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations and Non-Contractual Obligations (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (the draft SI), together with an explanatory memorandum.

The purpose of the draft SI is to ensure that the EU rules that determine the law applicable to contractual and non-contractual obligations continue to operate effectively in domestic law after the UK leaves the EU. Those EU rules are contained, in particular, in Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) and Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II).

Upon the UK’s exit from the EU, Rome I and Rome II, and the domestic legislation that give effect to these EU Regulations, will be retained under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, but will contain deficiencies that need rectifying.

The majority of corrections that the draft SI makes to retained EU law deal with those aspects of the EU Regulations that are no longer relevant after the UK has left the EU. These include deleting provisions imposing requirements on EU Member States to notify matters to the European Commission, and provisions imposing obligations on the Commission to review the EU Regulations. Other provisions are amended to take account of the UK ceasing to be an EU.