The Act is aimed at creating legal certainty across the board in federal law for the transition period after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. It is to enter into force on the same date as the Withdrawal Agreement, thus ensuring that its provisions are not applied should the Withdrawal Agreement not come about.
On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland informed the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union, thus officially triggering the procedure under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. If an extension is agreed, then the newly agreed withdrawal date will apply.
What is in the deal?
The Draft Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period from the date of the withdrawal until 31 December 2020, during which EU law will fundamentally continue to apply to the United Kingdom. The aim is to give the public, companies and administrations time to adapt to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
Aim and content
The main aim of the Act is to create legal clarity for the transition period as regards provisions of federal law that refer to membership of the EU. The Act contains a clear and simple rule for the transition period: wherever federal law refers to the EU Member States, this will also include the United Kingdom as long as none of the stated exceptions apply.
The Act also includes a provision to help British and German citizens who apply for citizenship of the other country before the end of the transition period. Under this provision, they will be allowed to retain their original citizenship even if the decision on their naturalisation is made after the end of the transition period. In such cases, dual citizenship will be tolerated under certain conditions.