The UK has given notice of its intention to withdraw from the EU, which has started a two year period in which the UK and the EU will negotiate the terms of withdrawal. The UK remains a Member State during this process. Read the letter to President Tusk here.
If no agreement on the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal is reached, Brexit will occur two years later on 29 March 2019 and Theresa May has said that the default position, in that case, would be to leave on World Trade Organisation terms. The two year period could, however, be extended if negotiations are incomplete, but only with the unanimous consent of the European Council (the Heads of State or Government of all 28 EU Member States). The two year period will include time at the start when the Commission will seek a negotiating mandate from the Council and time at the end when the Council and Parliament consider the terms of the agreement, so the available period for negotiation is less than two years.
To preserve legal certainty, the UK Government has said that it will introduce a Great Repeal Bill in the next Parliamentary session and published a White Paper on that bill on 30 March 2017. This bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day the UK formally leaves the EU, will simultaneously convert all EU law into domestic legislation, so that the first day following exit does not place the UK in a legal vacuum and will create powers to make secondary legislation to allow corrections to be made to laws, where necessary, to rectify problems which arise as a consequence of leaving the EU. Access the White Paper here.
The UK’s exit from the European Union does, however, raise crucial issues as to the potential legal consequences and impact on business activities in the UK.
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This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.