Brexit/Legislative issues

< Brexit

This is a list of detailed legislative issues that any UK-EU agreement will need to address.

See also: Brexit/Intellectual Property

Queen's Speech 2017

The UK Government laid out at the Queen's Speech in June 2017 the Brexit-related areas which the UK Parliament will aim to legislate on. The Queen's Speech was accompanied by the background briefing notes to the speech. Details are always in the background briefing notes.

Eight Brexit-related Bills are planned as well as a Data Protection Bill which is also relevant as it aims to implement the General Data Protection Regulation.

The Repeal Bill

The Repeal Bill (formerly referred to as the Great Repeal Bill) will:

...allow for a smooth and orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU, ensuring that, wherever practical, the same rules and laws apply after exit and therefore maximising certainty for individuals and businesses. The Bill will:

  • repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law as we leave the EU;
  • create temporary powers for Parliament to make secondary legislation, enabling corrections to be made to the laws that do not operate appropriately once we have left the EU. It will also allow changes to be made to domestic law to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50;
  • replicate the common UK frameworks created by EU law in UK law, and maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exit. This will be a transitional arrangement to provide certainty after exit and allow intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations on where lasting common frameworks are needed.

The Bill does not put any constraints on the withdrawal agreement we will make with the EU and further legislation will be introduced to support such an agreement if and when required.

The Customs Bill

As it stands, the EU customs code applies directly in the UK. The Bill will ensure:

  • that the UK has a standalone UK customs regime on exit;
  • flexibility to accommodate future trade agreements with the EU and others;
  • that changes can be made to the UK’s VAT and excise regimes to ensure that the UK has standalone regimes on EU-exit.

The Trade Bill

The Bill will cement the United Kingdom’s status as a leading trading nation, driving positive global change through trade, whilst ensuring UK businesses are protected from unfair trading practices. The Bill will:

  • put in place the essential and necessary legislative framework to allow the UK to operate its own independent trade policy upon exit from the European Union.

The Immigration Bill

With the repeal of the European Communities Act, it will be necessary to establish new powers concerning the immigration status of EEA nationals. The Bill will allow the Government to control the number of people coming here from Europe while still allowing us to attract the brightest and the best. The Bill will:

  • allow for the repeal of EU law on immigration, primarily free movement, that will otherwise be saved and converted into UK law by the Repeal Bill;
  • make the migration of EU nationals and their family members subject to relevant UK law once the UK has left the EU.

The Fisheries Bill

As the UK leaves the EU, the Bill will:

  • enable the UK to exercise responsibility for access to fisheries and management of its waters.

The Agriculture Bill

In line with the manifesto, the Bill will ensure that after we leave the EU we have an effective system in place to support UK farmers and protect our natural environment. The Bill will:

  • provide stability to farmers as we leave the EU;
  • protect our precious natural environment for future generations;
  • deliver on the manifesto commitment to “provide stability for farmers as we exit the EU.

The Nuclear Safeguards Bill

The Bill will establish a UK nuclear safeguards regime as we leave the European Union and Euratom. The Bill will:

  • give the Office for Nuclear Regulation powers to take on the role and

responsibilities required to meet our international safeguards, and nuclear non-proliferation, obligations.

The International Sanctions Bill

The Bill will support our role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a leading player on the world stage, by establishing a new sovereign UK framework to implement international sanctions on a multilateral or unilateral basis. The Bill will:

  • return decision-making powers on non-UN sanctions to the UK;
  • enable the UK’s continued compliance with international law after the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Data Protection Bill

“A new law will ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data”

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • Make our data protection framework suitable for our new digital age, allowing citizens to better control their data

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

  • To meet the manifesto commitments to give people new rights to “require major social media platforms to delete information held about them at the age of 18” (p.79) and to “bring forward a new data protection law” (p.80).
  • To ensure that our data protection framework is suitable for our new digital age, and cement the UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data.
  • To allow police and judicial authorities to continue to exchange information quickly and easily with our international partners in the fight against terrorism and other serious crimes.
  • To implement the General Data Protection Regulation and the new Directive which applies to law enforcement data processing, meeting our obligations while we remain an EU member state and helping to put the UK in the best position to maintain our ability to share data with other EU member states and internationally after we leave the EU.

The main elements of the Bill are:

  • To establish a new data protection regime for non-law enforcement data processing, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998. The new rules strengthen rights and empower individuals to have more control over their personal data, including a right to be forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
  • To modernise and update the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies. The regime will cover both domestic processing and cross-border transfers of personal data.
  • To update the powers and sanctions available to the Information Commissioner.