Why does the UK choose to abide by EU Regulation?

Greater regulatory independence was often stated as one of the key benefits of Brexit, so it may come as a surprise to discover that the UK is currently choosing to still abide by many EU regulations, even though it’s now free to make its own rules.

Why does the UK choose to abide by EU Regulation when we’re now independent of the EU

There are several reasons why some of the expected changes haven’t happened.

Firstly, during the Brexit negotiations, the UK and the EU agreed on a Withdrawal Agreement, which established a transition period lasting until December 31, 2020. During this period, the UK continued to abide by EU regulations as if it were still a member state of the EU. This was intended to provide stability and continuity for businesses and individuals in both the UK and the EU during the transition.

Secondly, the UK and the EU negotiated a trade agreement called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which came into effect on January 1, 2021. The TCA includes provisions on trade, fisheries, law enforcement, and other areas, and it provides for continued cooperation between the UK and the EU in various fields. However, in order to maintain access to the EU market, the UK agreed to abide by certain EU regulations in areas such as food safety, product standards, and environmental protection.

Thirdly, even though the UK is now independent of the EU, it still has close economic and political ties with the bloc, and it is in the UK’s interest to maintain good relations with its neighbours. By abiding by certain EU regulations, the UK can continue to participate in various EU initiatives and programs, and it can maintain a level of regulatory alignment that makes it easier to do business with the EU.

Finally, some EU regulations have become international standards, and it may be in the UK’s interest to continue to comply with them even outside of the context of the EU. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that has been adopted by many countries around the world as a standard for data protection and privacy. By continuing to abide by the GDPR, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to protecting personal data and ensure that it remains a trusted partner for businesses and individuals around the world.

What regulatory issues haven’t been affected by Brexit? Here are a few examples.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs): EPCs are mandatory for all buildings in the UK, and they provide information on a building’s energy efficiency rating. While EPCs are influenced by EU regulations, they are not directly related to Brexit and have not been significantly affected by it.

Oil Storage Regulations: In the UK, the storage of liquid fuel is strict where regulations require storage to comply with various regulations, including the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 and The Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Oil Storage) (Wales) Regulations 2016 and The Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006  These regulations are not directly related to Brexit and have not been significantly affected by it.

Fuel Quality Standards: The UK has implemented its own fuel quality standards, which are largely based on EU standards. However, these standards are not directly related to Brexit and have not been significantly affected by it.