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24th Jul 2018

Theresa May announces UK will now remain under EU law until 2020

Kyle Picknell

The 1972 European Communities Act will not be repealed for another 21 months

Theresa May has announced that the UK will remain under EU law for 21 months more than had previously been expected.

She had previously stated the UK would leave the EU in March 2019.

The move means that the European Communities Act – created in 1972 – will not be appealed on (Br)exit day next year, but instead at the end of 2020. The EU Withdrawal Act, created last month, will also now have to be amended.

The PM is likely to face a severe backlash from pro-Brexit MPs over the move. The government is also open to potential legal action as Britain will be stripped of MPs and commissioners in the European yet remain under the control of Brussels.

Steve Baker – who recently resigned as a Brexit minister along with David Davis – demanded to know that MPs would be given a vote over reinstating the Withdrawal Act in the Commons.

While Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said: “I can’t remember legislation which has needed such great revision and amendment before the relevant parts have even come into force.”

Current Brexit secretary Dominic Raab told the house that the move has been put in place to “ensure the statute book functions properly….in accordance with the agreement we have made with the EU.”