European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:18 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:18 pm, 7th September 2017

In a moment.

To do that, the first step the Bill takes is to preserve all the domestic law we have made to implement our EU obligations. That mainly means preserving thousands of statutory instruments that have been made under the European Communities Act, with subjects ranging from aeroplane noise to zoo licensing. It also extends to preserving any other domestic law that fulfils our European Union obligations or otherwise relates to the European Union.

Equally, the Bill converts European Union law—principally EU regulations, all 12,000 of them—into domestic law on exit day. It also ensures that rights in the EU treaties that are directly effective—that is, rights that are sufficiently clear, precise and unconditional that they can be relied on in court by an individual—continue to be available in UK law.

I have no doubt that there is much about EU law that could be improved, and I know that this Parliament will, over time, look to improve it. [Interruption.] Including Wayne David, who laughed just then. But that is not the purpose of this Bill. It simply brings European Union law into UK law, ensuring that, wherever possible, the rules and laws are the same after exit as before.

Just as important as the text of EU law is the interpretation of that law.