‘Brexit Freedom’ promised by end of 2023 but what will be the impact for data protection legislation?

December 2022

Formally known as the Brexit Freedoms Bill, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the Bill) was introduced to parliament on 22 September 2022. The Bill aims to repeal, restate, or assimilate into UK law any retained EU law on the UK’s statute books by 31 December 2023. The Bill gives the Government a raft of new powers to fast track these changes with limited parliamentary scrutiny.

The Bill will impact retained EU legislation like the UK GDPR, and statutory instruments which implement EU law such as the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR). This adds further uncertainty around the reform of data protection legislation in the UK, after the Data Protection and Digital Reform Bill was put on hold and the potential for further wholesale reform of UK GDPR was mooted in the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference.

Note that ministers will be able to delay the December 2023 ‘sunset’ date until no later than 23 June 2026 (the tenth anniversary of the Brexit referendum) where there is insufficient time to make the changes to legislation required. The dates are also potentially subject to change as the Bill passes through parliament. 

The full text of the Bill is available here

Explanatory Notes on the Bill prepared by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are available here

We will be closely monitoring the progress of the Bill and will provide further updates on its effect on UK data protection legislation in future issues of the DPO Digest.