The Law Society of England and Wales submitted its response to the European Scrutiny Committee’s inquiry on post-Brexit scrutiny of EU law and policy. The submission outlines its views on the different models for scrutiny of post-Brexit EU law and policy and their impact on the legal profession, as well as the wider economy and society.

Even after UK membership of the EU has ended, the Law Society believes it will be critical for the UK to monitor and scrutinise EU policy developments. This reflects the fact that the links and interdependencies between the EU and UK markets are deep and are significant to the UK economy.

Decisions taken in the EU will continue to impact UK businesses and consumers and we are strongly of the view that the UK cannot ignore upcoming changes and the underlying reasons or objectives associated with the development.

The impact will take a number of forms:

  • Direct: where there is continued UK – EU cooperation in a given area.
  • Indirect: where there is no longer official cooperation, but the divergence from the EU will have consequences that will need to be scrutinised. This has several sub-sections:

        o Where there is a knock-on impact for UK businesses or individuals

        o Where there will arise dual burden for businesses

        o Where there is reciprocity

  • International: where the development has implications for international regulations or agreements beyond the EU.

We believe that the UK Government and Parliament would be putting an undue burden on businesses and consumers if there was not official monitoring and scrutiny of such changes. It may also be that EU developments call for a corresponding response within the UK, whether this is to maintain alignment or pursue an alternative approach.

In the event that a withdrawal agreement and future relationship agreement is negotiated and ratified between the UK and EU, it would be necessary for the UK to ensure internal developments would be consistent with EU regulation changes. Monitoring for such changes would be critical to ensuring the UK remains compliant with its obligations. In the case of the withdrawal agreement this means that there is a need to oversee all EU developments and scrutinise necessary UK action on them, as EU legislation will continue to apply in the UK.

The full submission can be viewed here.