The government has published a White Paper 'Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union' this explains how the Great Repeal Bill will convert the body of EU legislation into UK law and then considers options, such as imposing restraints on delegated power.

  • The Prime Minister wrote to the EU 0n 29 March 2017, triggering Article 50, the mechanism by which a member state leaves the EU.
  • The Great Repeal Bill (GR) will be introduced at the next parliamentary session to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day the UK leaves the EU.
  • The GR will move the main body of EU laws into UK laws ensuring that our systems can continue to function across the devolved parliaments in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. 
  • Wherever it is 'practical and sensible', the same laws and rules that apply to UK businesses the day before our departure, will still apply the day after.
  • The UK will be able to make changes once the GR is passed.

The White Paper considers the constraints on the delegated power, for example preventing the power from being used to impose taxation.

  • A new Customs bill is going to be required to create a new UK customs regime, although much depends on negotiations on Britain leaving the EU and the question as to whether we will be allowed to remain in the single market.
  • For employers and workers, all of the employment rights that are enjoyed under EU law will be converted 
  • Leaving the EU we will also bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the UK. However, for as long as EU-derived law remains in force in the UK, it is essential that there is a common understanding of what that law means.


The White Paper, 'Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union'.

The government have also prepared guidance for businesses to help explain any changes and answer FAQs.


  • Don't expect the GR to make instant changes to direct taxes: we can already do that via the annual Finance Bill.
  • Do expect some changes to VAT and excise duties.

Bearing in mind that it will take a large organisation somewhere between 2 and 4 years to reprogram its systems there is unlikely to be any major change in indirect tax without significant consultation.

There is no reason why Brexit should affect HMRC's current plans for Making Tax Digital, other than Brexit may create a temporary shortage of man-power in the civil service.


Do you like our content and want to know more? Sign up now * for Nichola's FREE SME tax news, tips and topical more 

If you would like to unlock all the content, prices start from £1 per day.

*There are no strings attached: you will be free to unsubscribe at any time and we don't pass on anyone's details to anyone else and as you can see we don't blur our content with annoying adverts.