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This is a list of current, amended, spent and repealed Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom relating to its former membership and current relationship to the European Communities and the European Union from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.
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. (January 2021)
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
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Although the Act was repealed by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 upon the UK's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, most of its provisions remained in effect via Section 1A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.
These Acts also amend the 1972 Act.
Act related to the 1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum
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
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
These Acts legislated for the holding of European Parliament elections within the United Kingdom.
European Union Act & amending Acts
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
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.
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
|Act||Chapter (c.)||Royal Assent||Current status||Notes|
|European Union Referendum Act 2015||36||17 December 2015||Spent||This 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 2017||9||16 March 2017||Spent||This 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.|
|European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018||16||26 June 2018||Amended||This 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
||8 April 2019
||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
||9 September 2019
||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 2020||1||23 January 2020||Amended||This 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 2020||29||31 December 2020||Current||This 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.|