No-Deal Brexit: Impact On Safety, Health And Environment Legislation

Author:Ms Teresa Hitchcock and Bob Martens
Profession:DLA Piper

While a range of outcomes, including a departure under the terms of the current Withdrawal Agreement, remains possible, it is important for businesses to plan for a no-deal Brexit, in which the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement or other deal. Here we look at the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on safety, health and environment (SHE) legislation.

Following the UK's vote to leave the EU in 2016 there seemed to be no significant drivers in the UK to change long-established regulatory systems mandated by EU legislation, many of which had originated in the UK, or had been heavily influenced by UK legislation. The government's stated intention to seek as close a relationship as possible with the EU after Brexit supported this view.

However, the UK government's failure so far, however, to secure parliamentary approval to its Withdrawal Agreement with the EU makes it increasingly likely that if Brexit occurs at all, it will mean leaving the EU without a deal.

Key issues

The terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provide for the transposition of existing directly applicable EU law, including SHE legislation, into UK law, subject to limited powers for the government to adapt and remove provisions that are no longer relevant.

Accordingly, substantive legal continuity for SHE legislation, as far as domestic UK law is concerned, is assured. We also remain of the view that UK environmental, health and safety and product safety law would be...

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