Explanatory Notes

Clause 26: Interpretation of retained EU law and relevant separation agreement law

296 This clause defines the term ‘relevant separation agreement law’ and provides for rules of interpretation in order to ensure that as far as they are applicable, that body of law is interpreted in accordance with the withdrawal agreement, the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement and the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement.

297 Subsection (1) amends section 6 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on the interpretation of retained EU law. Specifically:

a. subsection (1)(a) substitutes references to ‘exit day’ to ‘IP completion day’, so that retained EU law, and its accompanying rules of interpretation, come into force on IP completion day; and

b. subsection (1)(b) inserts a new section 6A after subsection 6, which makes clear that subsections (1) to (6) of section 6 are subject to new section 7C, which is set out below.

298 Subsection (2) inserts a new section 7C after new section 7B of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

299 New section 7C(1)(a) states that any question concerning the validity, meaning or effect of any relevant separation agreement law is to be decided in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement and the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement (so far as they are applicable to it). New section 7C(1)(b) provides that regard should be had to the desirability of ensuring that the effect of relevant separation agreement law in relation to matters dealt with by corresponding provisions amongst the Agreements is consistent.

300 New section 7C(2) provides references to relevant provisions of each of the Agreements regarding the interpretation of relevant separation agreement law.

301 New section 7C(3) defines ‘relevant separation agreement law’. This includes domestic provisions implementing the Agreements and anything which is domestic law by virtue of those provisions (subsection (a)) - either because it flows into domestic law by virtue of the new section 7A and 7B conduit pipes or is made in exercise of the powers listed in new section 7C(3)(a) - and anything else which is domestic law for the purposes of, or otherwise within the scope of the Agreements (subsection (b)), with the exception of Part 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement, which is legislated for separately (that legislation being repealed, in the main, on IP completion day).


Prepared 22nd October 2019