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The Great Repeal Bill is a proposed law that will repatriate "European Union law into British laws as part of "British exit from the European Union.

In October 2016, Theresa May promised a "Great Repeal Bill", which would repeal the "European Communities Act 1972 and restate in UK law all enactments previously in force under EU law. This bill will be introduced in the May 2017 "parliamentary session and "enacted before or during the Article 50 negotiations; it would not "come into force until the date of exit. It would smooth the transition by ensuring that all laws remain in force until specifically repealed.[1]

The Great Repeal Bill has been put forward by the government as a major vehicle for Parliamentary involvement, including as a possible alternative to a vote on a final deal.[2]


Devolved authorities[edit]

Such a bill is likely to cause issues constitutionally in terms of the devolution settlements throughout the UK nations. The Scottish Government's approach to the "Great Repeal Bill" is that it would require legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament, as it will legislate on Scottish matters.[3] It is also in the "Scotland Act 1998 that any legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament has to comply with European Law. Without an alteration to this, Holyrood would still need to follow European Law, or Westminster will need to alter this aspect of the Scotland Act – though whether the UK Government will follow convention to gain legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament (for changes to that Act) remains to be seen.

In devolved administrations, the powers currently exercised by the EU in relation to common policy frameworks will return to the UK, allowing the rules to be set in the UK by democratically-elected representatives. Ministers of devolved administrations will be given the power to amend devolved legislation to correct law that will not operate appropriately following Brexit.[4]:ch.4

The bill[edit]

When the bill currently being called "Great Repeal Bill" is published its "short title will be different because "value-laden terms such as 'great' are not permitted".[5]

A "white paper published on 30 March 2017 stated three objectives for the proposed Great Repeal Bill:

In March 2017 a report by "Thomson Reuters identified 52,741 pieces of legislation that have been passed since 1990. Transferring European legislation into British law is the quickest way to ensure continuity.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mason, Rowena (2 October 2016). "Theresa May's 'great repeal bill': what's going to happen and when?". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Anushka Asthana (20 December 2016). "Theresa May indicates MPs will not be given vote on final Brexit deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Mason, Rowena (3 October 2016). "UK and Scotland on course for great 'constitutional bust-up'". BBC. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Legislating for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union" (PDF). Department for Exiting the European Union. 30 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Walker, Peter; Stewart, Heather (30 March 2017). "'Great repeal bill' will create sweeping powers to change laws for Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Brexit: Government to set out plans to end dominance of EU law". Sky News. 30 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Brexit live: PM told divorce first then trade 10:17". Sky News. 30 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

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