Jack Simson Caird: The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Constitutional Change and Legal Continuity

UK Constitutional Law Association

Cross-posted with the Constitution Unit blog.

Nine months after Theresa May first announced that there would be a ‘Great Repeal Bill’, and three and a half months after triggering Article 50, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (EUW Bill) was published on 13 July 2017. The Bill is a complex mixture of constitutional change and legal continuity. This post highlights some of its main elements.

Constitutional change

The EUW Bill repeals the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) (clause 1). The ECA provides the “conduit pipe” through which EU law flows into the UK, and represents a central component of the UK’s current constitutional architecture. The key provisions of the EUW Bill replace the ECA with a new constitutional framework. The main constitutional changes in the EUW Bill include:

  • the creation of a new distinct body of law known as “retained EU law”;
  • broadly-framed delegated powers for Government to…

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