European Union law in Wales: What happens during the Brexit transition?


On 19 March 2018, the former Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis and the EU’s Chief Negotiator announced that the UK and EU had reached a political agreement on a transition period and published a further version of the draft legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement (PDF, 911.8KB)

Paragraph 1 of Article 121 of the draft Withdrawal Agreement states:

“Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, Union law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period.”

The focus of this inquiry is to start exploring what the transitional arrangements could be and the sort of arrangements the Welsh Government and the Assembly might need to prepare in advance of 29 March 2019.

Terms of reference

The External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee aims to understand how European Union law will be given effect in Wales during the Brexit transition period (29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020), including the role of the Welsh Ministers and Assembly scrutiny.

Some of the questions to which the Committee will be seeking answers are:

At a Wales and UK level.

-         What process will be followed for the transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU law during transition?

-         What role should the Welsh Government and Assembly have in this process?

-         What will the Assembly need to consider in terms of its scrutiny arrangements?

-         How can the Assembly's scrutiny approach interact with the UK Parliament's European scrutiny system?

-         Will there be an intra-UK intergovernmental structure established to support this process (such as the current JMC Europe)?

-         What role can Assembly Members play in the development of EU legislative proposals during the transition period?

-         How will the two withdrawal Bills (the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill) interact with regards to the transition period?

At an EU-UK level

-         How will the views of the Welsh Government and the Assembly on draft EU laws in devolved areas be presented to the European Union?

-         Will the Welsh Government be represented on the EU-UK Joint Committee established under the Withdrawal Agreement?

-         How should the Assembly scrutinise the actions of the Welsh Ministers in this regard?

Evidence gathering

The Committee took oral evidence as part of its inquiry on the following dates:

·         4 June 2018

·         11 June 2018

·         16 July 2018

Keeping in touch

If you'd like to know more about the work of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, please view its homepage, follow its Twitter account or contact the team that supports the Committee at

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Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 31/05/2018




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