Introduction to European Union law
Introduction to European Union law

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Introduction to European Union law

6.3.1 Decoupling EU laws

Upon leaving, the Treaties have no application, which opens the issue of what happens to all the laws enacted in a member state under the Treaties. Recall that EU Directives implemented into national law become ipso facto national law.

EU Regulations are directly applicable and, therefore, also part of the laws of a member state. If these were repealed en bloc, it would leave a large hiatus in many areas.

A range of issues follow this: First, the size of the task. How will directly applicable EU Regulations be dealt with? There are thousands. Should they be repealed at once? If not, should they be incorporated into national law? Would this be by enabling legislation separately for each, or through one enabling provision, in the way newly independent states adopt previous laws imposed by their former rulers? What about acquired rights of individuals, such as EU citizenship and EU fundamental rights? Can they merely be withdrawn as rights dependent upon continuing EU membership, or do they have, once acquired, endurance independently of member states (as the Court has suggested in Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen Case C-26/62 [1963] ECR 1)?

Secondly, should this be done through primary legislation in the Westminster Parliament, or through Westminster and the devolved assemblies in relation to legislation relevant to their competences?

This is unknown, as not EU law territory, which is why we are leaving you with these questions now.

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