Client Earth: Downgrade in status of UK law of EU origin

The EU Withdrawal Bill is already well known for its extremely broad, general and vague powers for ministers to 'correct' any 'deficiencies' found in UK law of EU origin ('retained EU law'). New advice obtained by ClientEarth confirms the Bill will also downgrade the status of UK law of EU origin and make it uniquely vulnerable to executive changes in future. The Bill increases the potential application of powers in other legislation: this will enable ministers to make substantive modifications to retained EU law after we leave the EU without adequate scrutiny.

This advice, available via the ClientEarth website, supports the view of the House of Lords Constitution Committee1 and MPs such as Dominic Grieve QC MP and Sir Keir Starmer QC MP who supported amendments to the Bill in the Commons. Lords now have the opportunity to prevent this downgrading by supporting amendment 33 to the Bill tabled by Lord Pannick, which states that "retained EU law is to be treated as primary legislation, enacted on exit day".

Read the briefing in full here

Malene Bratlie