Legal Uncertainty Arising Out of the Clause 3 of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019: FMLC Publishes Letter


On August 31, 2017, the Financial Markets Law Committee (“FMLC“) published a letter containing comments on clause 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 following a request from the UK’s Ministry of Justice to discuss the Bill.

The FMLC considers clause 3, in the context of direct EU legislation, which applies section by section and includes the application of implementing technical and regulatory standards. In its letter, the FMLC made a number of recommendations, including that:

  • The UK government should clarify which UK bodies (if any) are to take on the role of the European Supervisory Authorities, how this role will be defined and how this will be resourced as soon as possible;
  • More thought should be given to the operation and mechanics of clause 3. The provisions of direct EU legislation that apply before the day that the UK exits the EU and those which do not must be managed.
  • The UK government should plan for instances where certain technical or regulatory standards are necessary to enable domestic legislation to function effectively. For example, the revised Directive on payment services in the internal market  (EU 2015/2366) will apply from January 13, 2018, yet measures on regulatory standards are not due to come into force before the UK exits the EU and will not be received into UK domestic legislation. Without the regulatory standards, market participants will struggle to implement the Directive effectively.

The FMLC declined to comment further on the Bill, stating that it can most usefully contribute research and analysis once the statutory instruments set out in the Bill are published.