Preparing for Brexit & The Great Repeal Bill: The Legislative Options

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This paper examines the necessary steps for achieving the government’s objective of preserving EU law after Brexit, after the government has notified the European Union of its intention to cease to be a Member State. Part 1 examines the government’s stated intention to enact a Great Repeal Bill to preserve EU law as far as practically possible. It examines the various options for the Great Repeal Bill, its potential scope and the practical limits of enacting such a bill.  The relationship between the Great Repeal Bill and the United Kingdom’s (UK) exit negotiations is then discussed.

Part 2 addresses 3 other possible models for preserving EU law within UK law, and the relating benefits and drawbacks. The paper then considers the relationship between the 3 potential models for preserving EU law and the Great Repeal Bill, as well as assessing the implications for devolution when legislating and preparing for Brexit.

The enormity of the task, even from a purely legal perspective, is unquestionable, and some of the most substantial obstacles that are likely to be encountered are described in this paper.

Related publications:

See Richard and Rowena Moffatt’s prescient paper on “Brexit: The Immediate Legal Consequences“, published prior to the EU referendum, which examined the legal issues that would arise upon triggering Article 50 and in attempting to disentangle EU law from UK law.

This publication presents the personal views of the author and not those of The Constitution Society, which publishes it as a contribution to debate on this important subject.