Brexit: ministers unveil Great Repeal Bill to replace EU laws

The Government has published details of proposed legislation to transfer the whole of EU law on to the UK statute book as Britain leaves the European Union.

Brexit secretary David Davis addresses the House of Commons.
Brexit secretary David Davis addresses the House of Commons.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told the House of Commons that the Great Repeal Bill will provide “clarity and certainty” for businesses and citizens as Brexit takes place, with standards and rules maintained until Parliament decides to amend or remove them.

In a move designed to quell concern over the use of so-called Henry VIII powers to pass up to 1,000 pieces of secondary legislation without close parliamentary scrutiny, Mr Davis said any powers created in this way would be “time limited” and “Parliament will need to be satisfied that the procedures are appropriate”.

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The Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which provides legal underpinning for Britain’s EU membership.

Mr Davis told MPs: “We have been clear that we want a smooth and orderly exit, and the Great Repeal Bill is integral to that approach.

“It will provide clarity and certainty for businesses, workers and consumers across the United Kingdom on the day we leave the EU.

“It will mean that as we exit the EU and seek a new deep and special partnership with the European Union, we will be doing so from the position where we have the same standards and rules.

“But it will also ensure that we deliver on our promise to end the supremacy of EU law in the UK as we exit.

“Our laws will then be made in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast and interpreted not by judges in Luxembourg but by judges across the United Kingdom.”