Repealing EU law: The great puzzle

14 Aug 2017

The long-awaited “Great Repeal Bill”, now called the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, was published on 13 July and aims to secure a smooth transition after withdrawal. As a general impression, and given its near impossible aim, one cannot help but admire the Bill’s technical detail, subtlety, and originality. But no amount of technical ability can guarantee its eventual success.

The Bill’s main feature is the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. By losing its constitutional basis, EU law as we know it will be no more. The government could have chosen to secure vested rights by retaining the 1972 Act. Instead, selected fragments of EU l...

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