Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023

Date Legislation considered: 30 June 2023

Date Legislation in Force:

The following provisions come into force on 29 June 2023

(a) sections 1 and 2; 25

(b) section 5(1), (2) and (4) to (7).

(c) section 7.

(d) sections 9 to 17 and Schedule 3.

(e) sections 19 to 21, section 22, section 23 and Schedule 4 and Schedule 5.

Section 18 will come into force on 29 August 2023. The other provisions of the Act will come into force on such day as a Minister of the Crown may by regulations appoint.

Potential Right(s) Affected: Residence / Discrimination/Equal Treatment / Workers / Social Security coordination

What does the legislation do?

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (“the Act”) was introduced as a bill to the House of Commons on 22 September 2022. The Explanatory Notes that accompanied the bill state that its purpose is “to provide the Government with all the required provisions that allow for the amendment of retained EU law (REUL) and remove the special features it has in the UK legal systems.” The Explanatory Notes further state that “the Bill will give effect to policies that were set out in the Benefits of Brexit Report published in January 2022 and the Government’s announcement of the review into the substance and status of REUL in September 2021”.

The IMA published its first interim report on 1 November 2022 setting out its concerns that the Bill and accompanying documentation failed to make it clear how “relevant separation agreement law” will be affected by the sunset provisions. The report stated that this is unsatisfactory for EU and EEA EFTA citizens or indeed anyone who may have to navigate such law, and there is clearly potential for confusion.

The IMA published a second interim report on 28 February 2023 after the second reading of the bill  setting out its concerns that despite commitments from Ministers and officials, the IMA was yet to see a complete list of legislation which is intended to be saved. The report stated that “should saving legislation a) not be made or b) not include all relevant legislation, the consequence is that it will disappear completely on 31December 2023. Whilst citizens within scope of the Citizen’s Rights Agreements will still be able to rely directly on their rights as set out in the Agreements, this is unsatisfactory and is likely to lead to confusion.”

Update since the IMA’s second interim report

The bill was granted Royal Assent on 29 June 2023.

On 10 May 2023 an amendment was tabled to replace the original sunset clause (clause 1) in the Bill with a list of the legislation that the government intend to revoke at the end of 2023. The amendment was agreed on 15 May 2023. The list of legislation can be found at Schedule 1 to the Bill.


The amendment to the sunset clause removes the risk of “relevant separation agreement law” being revoked inadvertently.  The IMA has reviewed the contents of the Schedule 1 to the Bill and have not identified the removal of any provisions concerning the exercise of rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.

However, there remain powers within the Act, for Ministers to amend and revoke legislation, by way of regulations, which could include “relevant separation agreement law”. The IMA will continue to monitor legislation made under the Act as part of its legislation monitoring process.

In the meantime, any citizen experiencing difficulties in exercising their rights is encouraged to report a complaint through the IMA Portal.

Further information about the IMA and guidance on how to report complaints can also be found on the Website