Europe: In, out or shake it all about?

The Queen’s Speech on 27 May included the government’s proposals regarding the EU Referendum Bill to cover the renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the European Union and an in/out referendum on continued membership of the EU.

Whilst there is speculation that a referendum could be held as early as autumn 2016, the government has undertaken to put it to a public vote by 2017 at the latest. In the event of a vote for the UK to leave the EU, the British parliamentary system could once again shape our laws without any involvement from our European cousins, so employers’ thoughts will naturally turn to what would happen to EU-derived employment law. Could a vote to leave the EU lead to the wholesale throwing out of laws relating to business transfers, discrimination, holiday, duties to agency workers, data protection etc?

In theory, this could happen. The European Communities Act 1972 was enacted to allow the British government to introduce secondary legislation to implement EU laws in this country.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


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Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.