Impact of EU law on Law of England and Wales before Brexit

Before Brexit, the impact of European Union law on the law of England and Wales was significant and far-reaching. The UK had been a member of the European Union since 1973, and during this time, EU law had become an integral part of the UK's legal system.

One of the most significant impacts of EU law on the law of England and Wales was the principle of direct effect. This meant that individuals and businesses could rely on EU law in national courts, and that national courts were required to give effect to EU law where it was applicable. This led to the development of a significant body of EU law that applied directly in the UK, including regulations, directives, and case law from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Another significant impact of EU law was the principle of indirect effect. This principle allowed individuals to rely on EU law in national courts, even in cases where the relevant EU law provision was not directly applicable. Indirect effect worked through the interpretation of national law in light of EU law. This meant that national courts were required to interpret national law in a way that was consistent with EU law, where possible. This allowed individuals to rely on EU law principles and rights, even in cases where there was no direct application of EU law.

The principle of supremacy was also a significant feature of the impact of EU law on the law of England and Wales. This meant that EU law took precedence over national law, and that national courts were required to set aside any national law that conflicted with EU law. This led to tension between the UK's domestic legal system and the EU legal system, particularly in cases where EU law conflicted with long-standing legal principles in the UK.

EU law had a significant impact on specific areas of law in England and Wales, such as employment law, consumer protection, and environmental law. Many of the rights and protections that existed in these areas of law were based on EU law, and the UK's departure from the EU has created uncertainty around the future of these rights and protections.

Following Brexit, EU law is no long applicable in the UK, except retained EU law. Nevertheless, the impact of EU law on the law of England and Wales before Brexit was significant and far-reaching, and it will continue to shape the legal system in England and Wales for years to come.
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