Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK has confirmed the Isle of Man will have its own version of the EU Repeal Bill published yesterday by the United Kingdom Government.
The UK’s legislation – formally entitled the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - will repeal its European Communities Act and ‘domesticate’ applicable EU laws into the UK statute book. It will then be possible for the UK to amend or repeal those laws to suit its needs following Brexit.
The Chief Minister commented: ‘The UK Repeal Bill is likely to be the subject of much debate in Westminster, and we will follow its passage with great interest. We have our own European Communities Act and, as we have stated in our periodic reports, our Act will need to be repealed, and provision will have to be made to either retain, amend, or repeal EU laws which apply to the Isle of Man under Protocol 3’.
He added: ‘This is not going to be a quick or straightforward task. In the UK it has been estimated that there are some 20,000 EU instruments which apply to it as an EU Member State. For us, because of our more limited relationship with the EU, the number is significantly lower, but there are still thousands of EU measures which have applied to the Island because of Protocol 3, and hundreds which we have applied in the Isle of Man using our own laws. In addition, many of our other laws either refer to EU law, or EU institutions, and they may need to be amended too’.
It is anticipated that an Isle of Man Repeal Bill will be brought forward later this year. Further legislation, including in respect of customs and immigration, will also need to be put in place before the UK leaves the EU.
The Chief Minister continued: ‘As I have said before, the level of the Island’s engagement over the Brexit process is unprecedented. We, together with our colleagues in the Channel Islands, are maintaining close contact with the UK Government as its negotiations with the EU continue and as it develops new legislation.’
He concluded: ‘Beyond Brexit, we may continue to apply some EU law if we choose to do so and it is felt to be in our interests. But in the future any EU law which is to have effect in the Isle of Man will be a matter solely for Tynwald.’