Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom relating to the European Communities and the European Union


This is a list of current, amended, spent and repealed Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom relating to its former membership and current relationship to the European Communities and the European Union from 1972 onwards.

Some of the Acts (particularly the European Communities Act 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018) represent some of the most important constitutional legislation formerly or currently on the statute book.

Act of United Kingdom accession and membership to the European Communities / European Union


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Communities Act 19726817 October 1972Repealed

This Act legislated for the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities which later became the European Union and also gave legal effect to European Union Law (then Community law) which came into effect on 1 January 1973, the day the UK officially joined.

Although the Act was repealed by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 upon the UK's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, most of its provisions remained in effect via Section 1A of the Withdrawal Act until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

Amending Acts

ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent statusNotes
European Communities (Amendment) Act 19865817 November 1986RepealedThis Act incorporated the Single European Act into the 1972 Act.
European Communities (Amendment) Act 19933620 July 1993RepealedThis Act incorporated the Maastricht Treaty into the 1972 Act which created the European Union.
European Communities (Amendment) Act 19982111 June 1998RepealedThis Act incorporated the Amsterdam Treaty into the 1972 Act.
European Communities (Amendment) Act 2002326 February 2002RepealedThis Act incorporated the Nice Treaty into the 1972 Act.
European Union (Amendment) Act 2008719 June 2008RepealedThis Act incorporated the Treaty of Lisbon into the 1972 Act.

Finance Acts


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Communities (Finance) Act 2001224 December 2001Repealed
European Communities (Finance) Act 2008119 February 2008Repealed
European Union (Finance) Act 20153221 July 2015Repealed

These Acts also amend the 1972 Act.

Act related to the 1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
Referendum Act 1975338 May 1975Repealed

This Act legislated for the holding of the United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum which was held on Thursday 5 June 1975.

Act related to the European Economic Area


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Economic Area Act 1993105 November 1993Amended

This Act incorporated the agreement which created the European Economic Area which came into effect on 1 January 1994 and amended the European Communities Act 1972 to add the agreement to the act.

Acts related to the European Assembly / Parliament


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Assembly Elections Act 1978105 May 1978Repealed
European Assembly (Pay and Pensions) Act 19795026 July 1979Repealed
European Parliamentary Elections Act 1993415 November 1993Repealed
European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999114 January 1999Repealed
European Parliamentary Elections Act 20022424 July 2002Repealed
European Parliament (Representation) Act 200378 May 2003Repealed

These Acts legislated for the holding of European Parliament elections within the United Kingdom.

European Union Act & amending Acts


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Union Act 20111119 July 2011Repealed

This Act amended the 2002 Act and legislated for the requirement of a UK-wide referendum for any approval of any proposed transfers of power to the EU.

Acts related to the European Union Act 2011

ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 20121531 October 2012Repealed
European Union (Approvals) Act 20153717 December 2015Repealed

This Act approves under the European Union Act 2011 the creation of the European Stability Mechanism for Eurozone states and approves for Macedonia to become an observer in the work of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Accession Acts


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent status
European Communities (Greek Accession) Act 19795020 December 1979Repealed
European Communities (Spanish and Portuguese Accession) Act 19857519 December 1985Repealed
European Union (Accessions) Act 1994383 November 1994Repealed
European Union (Accessions) Act 20033513 November 2003Repealed
European Union (Accessions) Act 2006216 February 2006Repealed
European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Act 2013531 January 2013Repealed

These Acts legislated for subsequent enlargements of the European Communities/European Union and also amended the European Communities Act 1972 to add the treaties to the act.

Acts related to and incidental to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union


ActChapter (c.)Royal AssentCurrent statusNotes
European Union Referendum Act 20153617 December 2015SpentThis Act required the holding of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum no later than 31 December 2017, which was duly held on Thursday 23 June 2016.
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017916 March 2017SpentThis Act (now spent) authorised the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to notify the European Union of the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, in pursuance of and subsequent to the case of R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.[1]
European Union (Withdrawal) Act 20181626 June 2018AmendedThis Act legislates to enable the implementation of the country's exit from the European Union (Brexit) and automatically repealed the European Communities Act 1972 on "exit day" – defined in the legislation as 29 March 2019 (at 11.00 p.m.) which was later revised by secondary legislation first to 31 October 2019 and then finally 31 January 2020.
European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 16 8 April 2019 Repealed Nicknamed the Cooper-Letwin Act, this Act started as a Private Member's Bill. It forced the government to ask Parliament to agree to an extension of the UK's membership of the EU. This happened and Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour. A second extension of the UK's membership, to 31 October 2019, was agreed the day after, but extension negotiations had been ongoing since before the vote.
European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 26 9 September 2019 Repealed Nicknamed the Benn Act, this act was also a Private Member's Bill. The process to get the bill to a vote saw 21 Conservative MPs kicked out of their party. The bill set out conditions, in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Its conditions led to a rare Saturday sitting of the House of Commons, during which the government tried to get its revised withdrawal agreement passed by MPs. Ultimately, the government was not successful, thanks to an amendment by Oliver Letwin, and was forced, by the act, to ask the EU for a third extension of its membership. This extension ultimately saw the UK leave the EU on 31 January 2020.
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020123 January 2020AmendedThis Act confirms the 31 January 2020 withdrawal date and also ratifies the revised version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The Act also saves the effect of the European Communities Act 1972 after the withdrawal date and legally binds changes to EU law until the end of the implementation period (to 31 December 2020).
European Union (Future Relationship) Act 20202931 December 2020CurrentThis Act incorporates the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement which sets out the new relationship between the UK and the European Union and was agreed on 24 December 2020 into the domestic law of the United Kingdom.

See also


References