Post-Brexit law: Will EU law matter?

Although the UK Parliament ultimately enshrines the law in Britain, the UK has also actively engaged in shaping EU law. Following UK Prime Minister Theresa May's suggestion of pulling out of the European Court of Justice, what will be the relevance of EU law in the UK and will the UK have to rewrite any existing agreements? By Janis Wong & Alejandro Newsome


  1. Whether you love it, hate it, or love to break it, law will determine the success of Brexit for both the UK and the EU by finalising any political differences between the two sides.
  2. Outside the European Court of Justice
    Outside the European Court of Justice
  3. As the Brexit negotiations enters into its first phase, the political discussions that have taken place so far move into areas of law and policy. Ranging from issues such as the Financial Settlement, Trade, and Rights, will any legal changes be made? If so, what will these be?
  4. The European Court of Justice (not to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights) is the highest court governing European Union law. As a part of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it interprets EU law and ensures its equal application across all Member States.
  5. In addition to the ECJ’s role in upholding the EU Single Market, the Court also has power over fundamental UK law and regulations.
  6. If the UK decides to pull out of the ECJ and EU law, what happens to our current legislation, existing future commitments, as well as UK Ministers and academics shaping future EU law?
  7. One of the biggest issues relates to the Freedom of Movement and ability for people to work abroad between the UK and the EU. Given that the EU has emphasised entry to the Single Market as being conditional to securing Freedom of Movement, will the two sides come to a compromise? Will exceptions be made for some workers but not other workers?
  8. Although governed under the European Convention of Human Rights, important issues relating to equality could also change as the UK leaves the EU. Brexit could also lead to pulling out of the ECHR and the UK may choose to enact its own Bill of Rights that will then be governed under UK Courts if ECJ jurisdiction is no longer followed. Issues such as parental leave, employment benefits, and health insurance protections should be changed as a result.