On 9 May 2024, 73 pieces of redundant environmental legislation originating from EU law were revoked. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) wrote to the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) on 19 January 2024, noting its intention to bring forward a Statutory Instrument to revoke 73 pieces of law inherited from the EU. Lord Douglas-Miller considered that these laws were “obsolete and inoperable pieces of assimilated laws”.

Retained EU Legislation

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (REUL) is a UK domestic law which came into effect on the 29 June 2023, following Brexit, to allow parliament to transition all necessary legislation away from the EU into UK law. It contains legislative powers which enable national authorities to reform retained EU law by introducing secondary legislation to amend, revoke and/or replace EU laws.

What are the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Revocation) Regulations 2024

These Regulations came into force on 9 May 2024, and revoked 73 pieces of legislation originally enshrined within EU law. Examples of the revoked environmental legislation include those relating to:

  • frameworks for environmental permitting
  • rules on the exports of waste from the EU
  • import checks on plant products
  • fluorinated greenhouse gases and mercury.

A full list of the pieces of legislation being revoked, together with the accompanying reasons can be found in the Annex to Defra’s letter on 19 January 2024.

Reasons for the revocation

The assimilated law was revoked due to a number of circumstances:

  • the laws had become obsolete or they were only ever intended to be applied to a specific time period which had lapsed
  • they were superseded by another piece of legislation
  • the effects of the instrument had been repealed
  • the law applied only to EU member states, of which the UK is no longer a member of i.e. it is no longer operable, or suitable for purpose in the UK.

A full impact assessment has not been produced, but the Government does not anticipate significant impact on the public, voluntary or private sector.

How Capsticks can help

We have extensive knowledge around legislative changes and how these may impact upon local authorities.

If you have any queries around what is discussed in this article, and the impact on your organisation, please speak to Tiffany Cloynes, Rebecca Gilbert or Chantal Davison.