The government has confirmed that it is no longer pursuing the sunset clause in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. B P Collins’ employment team advises what this could mean for businesses and employers over the coming months.

As the Bill is currently drafted, almost all EU law is automatically revoked at the end of 2023, unless a statutory instrument is passed to retain it.

That position is now being reversed, so that EU legislation will remain mandatory in the UK unless it is repealed.

Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch said the government would now just revoke around 600 laws under its planned legislation on 31 December 2023, rather than the 4,000 promised.

Ms Badenoch explained there are “risks of legal uncertainty” by automatically scrapping the laws by the end of the year, adding:

“We will still fully take back control of our laws and end the supremacy and special status of retained EU law by the end of 2023.

Ms Badenoch also told Parliament: “Over the past year, Whitehall departments have been working hard to identify retained EU law to preserve, reform or revoke. However, with the growing volume of Retained European Union Legislation (REUL) being identified, and the risks of legal uncertainty posed by sunsetting instruments made under EU law, it has become clear that the programme was becoming more about reducing legal risk by preserving EU laws than prioritising meaningful reform.

“That is why today I am proposing a new approach: one that will ensure ministers and officials can focus more on reforming REUL, and doing that faster.”

She said a further 500 pieces of retained EU legislation would be revoked by other means.

For further advice please contact B P Collins’ employment team at or call 01753 889995.

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