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Legislative changes for Brexit - progress being made, but time is running short

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A recent report from legal information providers Thomson Reuters provides an insight into the volume of Brexit-related legislation in the run up to the current (until further notice, of course..) ‘Brexit date’ of 31st October 2019. In the first six months of this year, 488 pieces of legislation were passed relating to changes in laws to cover the UK’s exit from the European Union. In comparison, only a single piece Brexit-related legislation was passed during the same period in the previous year.

However, even though the volume of legislation may provide some comfort that many of the significant legal challenges involved with the Brexit process are being addressed, there are still three vitally important Bills that need to be passed before the 31st October:

• The Financial Services Bill – which is designed to grant the government powers to implement future EU financial services regulations in the UK
• The Trade Bill – to grant the government powers to 'roll over' existing EU trade deals
• The Immigration Bill – to finally settle the contentious 'settled status' rules for EU citizens living in the UK

In commenting on the report, Thomson Reuters spokesperson Charlotte Brady said:

The uncertainty around the timing and manner of the UK’s departure from the EU has led to a significant proportion of drafters’ time being directed towards preparing UK legislation for Brexit, which has resulted in a reduced focus on the domestic agenda…this trend looks set to continue as even after Brexit, there will still be Brexit-related legislation which needs to be passed in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s departure."

Thomson Reuters has called on the UK government to produce a list of all EU legislation it plans to take on and whether it intends to amend that legislation in advance of exit day.

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