Retained EU Law (UK)

Retained EU law is a type of UK domestic law that was introduced in 2018 and which came into effect on 1 January 2021, upon the UK’s exit from the European Union.


Retained EU law was designed to support businesses by reducing the level of uncertainty, by avoiding large dramatic changes in domestic law once the UK left the EU by converting certain EU laws into UK legislation.

What is the Retained Law Bill?

The Retained EU Law Bill has recently received Royal Assent. This bill will make several changes to existing retained EU Law. These include removing nearly 600 legislative instruments of EU origin and all directly effective EU Law. It will also give additional powers to ministers to determine whether to amend, retain or revoke other pieces of retained EU law.

What does this mean for my business?

The Retained EU Law Bill gives the UK government the power to change certain key regulations around areas including, but not limited to, employment law, health and safety and intellectual property requirements. This means that if your business conducts operations within the UK then there is a greater chance of regulatory divergence compared with other markets.

How should I prepare for regulatory divergence?

The first step in preparing for any future regulatory divergence is ensuring that you comply with all existing legal requirements. Going forward, it would be advisable for businesses to closely monitor the legal requirements in each jurisdiction in which they operate to closely identify any regulatory divergence. It is important that businesses engage with the appropriate industry bodies to ensure that they keep up to date with the latest requirements.

Where can I find a list of Retained EU laws?

A full list of retained EU laws can be found on this GOV.UK dashboard.


icons8-speech-bubble-66  Do you need further assistance?

If you are unsure of how the Retained EU Law bill may impact you or your business please use the chat bot where, subject to eligibility, you may be able to access specialist consultancy advice from an approved InterTradeIreland service provider.

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Article prepared for the Cross-Border Trade Hub.

Article reviewed: October 2023