This is just a short post to highlight that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent yesterday, and so is now the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This means that the legal framework for the UK leaving the EU, and the subsequent incorporation of EU law into UK law, is now in place. The Act as enacted can be found here.

Readers may be aware that we issued a Brexit briefing last week explaining the dispute between the Scottish and UK Governments in relation to the then-Bill. This dispute centred on the mechanism contained within clause 15 of the Bill (originally clause 11, but amended to clause 15 in the House of Lords) to prevent the Scottish Parliament from changing 'retained EU law' in areas to be specified in regulations. In particular, the Scottish Government was aggrieved that the House of Commons voted to approve clause 15 despite the Scottish Parliament's refusal of consent. 

Clause 11/15 of the Bill is now section 12 of the Act. The Scotland Act 1998 therefore has a new section 30A, which means the UK Government now has the power to make the regulations in question. We will await the first of those, and the further arguments over consent that may follow, with bated breath.


Douglas Waddell

Senior Associate