There have been calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to attach “sunset clauses” to European Unions laws when they are written into UK law. These “sunset clauses” would effectively set a use by date on EU-derived legislation. If implemented they would force civil servants to review, reform or scrap the legislation in a given time frame. Any legislation which is not reviewed by this point would then automatically become void past the sunset date.

The Chief Economist at the Institute for Economic Affairs, Julian Jessop, is one of those calling for the attachment of “sunset clauses”. He believes that time limits would put the burden on civil servants to ensure they “review legislation properly” after the UK leaves the EU. He commented: ''Writing in sunset clauses would be more credible because it puts the onus on people to justify these regulations rather than just staying by default. Brexit should provide an opportunity to reduce the burden of regulation on UK households and firms alike.''

Another supporter was MP Grant Shapps, who Tweeted: “Welcome #GreatRepealBill, but will propose 10yr Sunset Clause on all but workers' rights & environment so Parliament can fully scrutinise 50k laws.”

A recent House of Commons report stated that as part of the Great Repeal Bill ministers will have to import up to 19,000 pieces of EU legislation into UK law. Legislation that covers a broad range of areas including trade, financial services, agriculture and the environment to name but a few. The Great Repeal Bill White Paper made no mention of any 'sunset' dates being implemented into EU-derived legislation. However, if this approach were to be taken there is the potential for it to have a drastic impact on UK legislation if large areas of law are not reviewed in time and then cease to have effect past a given date.

There would then be a scenario where the UK is left with legislative gaps.

For more information on the UK's withdrawal on the European Union, see:

For more information on the Great Repeal Bill White Paper, see: