Today is Brexit Day – the day the UK exits the European Union. A historic day no doubt. What does this mean though for people who are looking to claim for delayed or cancelled flights (EU 261/2004), ferries and cruises (EU 1177/2010)? What about those who use the European Small Claims Procedure (EU 861/2007)?
The answer is contained in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 [“the Withdrawal Act”].
Before Brexit, the EU regulations had legal effect in the UK by virtue of s.2 European Communities Act 1972 [“the Communities Act”]. However, by virtue of s.1 of the Withdrawal Act, the Communities Act will be repealed (subject to some exceptions) at 11.00pm GMT on 31st January 2020.
During the implementation period (known as the transition period) of the Withdrawal Act, the UK will still be treated as a member of the EU by virtue of s.1A(3)(f)(ii) of the Withdrawal Act.
By virtue of s.3 of the Withdrawal Act, any direct EU legislation (including the EU regulations) continue to have effect and forms part of the domestic law provided it was operating before the end of the transition period. Further, by virtue of s.3(4), the EU legislation also becomes domestic law. However, at the time of this blog, this section of the Act is not actually in force yet.
By virtue of Paragraph 1, Schedule 5 of the Withdrawal Act, all the EU legislation that becomes domestic law, must be published by the end of the transition period.
So, at the time of this blog, it appears to be the case, that despite us leaving the EU, we are still classed as a member of the EU. This means that all the EU Regulations still apply, and consumers will still be able to claim for delayed flights, ferries and cruises and will still be able to use the European Small Claims Procedure.
 In force 17 August 2019 by virtue of SI 2019/1198 (Commencement No 4)
 In force 3 July 2019 by virtue of SI 2019/1077 (Commencement No 3)
 31st January 2020 at 08:00am GMT